Peters Township took a big step toward capturing the Section 3, 6A baseball title when the Indians edged rival Bethel Park, 5-4, in 10 innings.
The win vaulted the Indians to the top of section standings with an 8-1 record with league battles remaining with Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon Monday and Canon-McMillan Wednesday remaining before the playoffs commence the week of May 13. The WPIAL championships are set for May 28-29 at Wild Things Park in Washington.
The loss dropped the Black Hawks into second place with a 7-2 record. They are 11-3 after rebounding with a 9-3 win against USC. BP had home games remaining with Lebo and Baldwin Wednesday as well as an away contest versus Canon-McMillan Monday.
“Anything can happen,” said BP head coach Tony Fisher.
And PT’s battle against BP had it fair share of excitement. The Indians appeared to have the game won, but the Black Hawks tied the game with two outs in the seventh and ninth innings.
“Our games against Bethel have been fun to be involved in,” said PT head coach Joe Maize. “Both teams play the game the way it is supposed to be played. Both teams responded when they needed to, made great defensive plays and some timely key hits.
“For Bethel to come back and score a tying run in the seventh when we had the first two batters out and we only needed to get one out to end the game and then, in the ninth to do the same thing but scoring two runs to tie the game with two outs is a credit to BP, their players and their coaching staff. They are never out of a ball game and they never quit.”
Sean McGowan singled and scored the first tying run on a base hit by Kevin Kogler in the bottom of the seventh. McGowan walked and Kogler singled before Brandon Cole drilled a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth.
“Our guys are gritty and they keep fighting,” Fisher said. “We were very proud of their effort.”
The effort was in vain as PT scored the game-winning run in the top of the 10th. With one out, Sam Quinn doubled and scored on Mac Ciocco’s single to left field.
Mark Lehman got the win in relief of Tom Colcombe. According to Maize, both have done a nice job on the mound the entire season along with senior Mark Edeburn.
Acknowledging the Indians still have their hands full with games against USC, Lebo and Canon-Mac, Maize nevertheless noted the significance of the victory against BP.
“This win was a big boost for us as the players are realizing that individual accomplishments mean little if the team is not successful,” Maize said. “These kids have really been supportive of one another and I think that most players are accepting the roles they have on this team. If we are to continue with being successful in our final section games and then having a run in the playoffs, they have to continue with the mindset that the team goals are much more important than any individual accomplishments that an individual may have.”
In the win against BP, Jackson McCloskey smacked two doubles and scored two runs, one in the first frame and another in the ninth. Dom Campagna singled and doubled and drove in the first run. Dax Ploskina also doubled and drove a run in the ninth. Joe Ehland doubled and scored a run in the ninth, too.
BP rebounded to beat USC, 9-3. Eric Chalus had three hits and three RBI while David Kessler and Bo Conrad both smacked two hits. Conrad had two RBI and Kessler one.
Evan Bromley raised his record to 6-0 with the win on the mound. He scattered five hits, fanned four and allowed one earned run in six innings.