The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 28, 2013

Walk-off homer gives Williams win No. 400

JOHNSTOWN — The Pitt-Johnstown baseball team seemed to be headed to a completely forgettable Saturday evening at Point Stadium.

The Mountain Cats’ already slim WVIAC playoff hopes were fading.

The chance to win No. 400 for coach Todd Williams appeared to be out of reach for at least one more day.

Then suddenly, the Mountain Cats showed why teams play until the final strike and final out.

Junior catcher Kyle Morrow capped a two-out rally with a walk-off, three-run homer over the left-field screen as UPJ came back to beat Shepherd, 6-4, and split a doubleheader.

The blast onto Johns Street secured Williams’ 400th victory since he took over in 1998.

“That was awesome,” Morrow said. “I didn’t know until the game was over that it was his 400th win. That felt really good to know I had a big part in it.

“I only hit one other walk-off home run and that was my sophomore year in high school (at Mount Union).”

UPJ (26-19 overall, 14-15) will end its regular season against Shepherd today at the Point. The Cats still have hopes of sneaking into the conference playoffs based on the points system, but would have to win and get some help.

“I wish we would have won the first one, too, but I guess that’s the way it goes,” Williams said of reaching 400. “It makes me feel good that we’ve been putting a program together the last 16 years that has been competitive and going in the right direction. That’s all I can ask, to be competitive and have these kids play hard. It’s all attributed to them.”

Shepherd led, 4-3, as UPJ came to bat in the bottom of the seventh.

The Rams got the first two outs.

But Sam Barbera started the two-out rally with a line-drive double. Mike Palkovich walked to set the table for Morrow.

“Sammy Barbera started it off by hitting one to the left-center gap,” Williams said. “He took off and made it to second base on pure hustle.

“Then Palkovich got walked, and Morrow came up and had a two-strike count on him. He just launched a missile out of the stadium. It was an awesome hit.”

Morrow guessed correctly on the pitch from Shepherd right-hander Tyler Thomas.

“He was throwing me a lot of sliders. He threw me a couple sliders in the count and got me down 1-2,” Morrow said. “He already threw me two sliders in a row, so I figured he was going to come after me with another one. Sure enough he did.”

Derek Younker pitched a complete game for his eighth win. He struck out six and walked none while allowing 14 hits.

In Game 1, Shepherd (25-19, 21-9) had 20 hits, including Kyle Porter’s 4-for-5 showing with a three-run homer. Jake Warner went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI for UPJ in the opener, and Palkovich and Jeff Campbell each had two hits and two RBI. Nate Pope hit a solo homer in the second game, and Campbell went 3-for-3 and drove in a run.

“Mathematically we’re alive,” Williams said, hoping for No. 401 today. “We have to win and wait and see what happens. No doubt, we have to win.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates cut down by Reds’ Cueto

    April 23, 2014

  • Penguins 0422 Blown leads are troubling trend in series

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunnehanna makes changes to tourney week

    April 22, 2014

  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sitting Bulls bring home national sled hockey title

    The Johnstown Sitting Bulls disabled sled hockey team recently won a national championship.
    The team, comprised of disabled athletes from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair counties, finished first in the Youth B Division at the USA Hockey National Disabled Hockey Festival held April 11-13 in Marlborough, Mass.

    April 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marathon.jpg Marathon men’s winner has names of victims on bib

    The winner of the Boston Marathon men’s race had the names of last year’s victims written in marker on the corners of his race bib.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014