And just like that, Saegertown’s stupendous spring has come to an end.
Last week, the school was celebrating District 10 championships in three sports — baseball, softball and boys volleyball.
Yet, after Monday the school is left lamenting three season-ending losses, the last of which occurred yesterday evening after the baseball squad fell to Quaker Valley 6-5 in the opening round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs at Jerry Uht Park.
“It’s painful,” said Saegertown head coach Tim Crum. “This wasn’t where the goals ended. But you don’t get any second chances at this level. We’re not ready for this to be over. We’ve worked way too hard. But I am really proud of these boys. It was a fantastic season. It was a fantastic run for these seniors. They led the charge for three straight D-10 titles. And there are teams out there that don’t have one D-10 title.
Crum added, “I think we were as good as (Quaker Valley). It just wasn’t our day (Monday).”
Quaker Valley (22-1) pounded out a dozen base hits in the game, benefiting from a swing-first, ask-questions-later approach at the plate.
“When we were in the WPIAL championship game, we took a lot of pitches and fell behind a lot and that hurt us,” said Quakers coach Todd Goble. “So our whole approach (Monday) was to be aggressive early.”
That mentality truly paid off in the fifth inning. Saegertown had a 2-1 lead. And the Quakers had only one out left in the inning when they struck for five straight base hits, bringing home three runs to take a 4-2 lead.
That was the final inning for starting pitcher Luke Carter. He went five frames, allowed four earned runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out two.
Matt Thompson took over on the mound in the fourth, and Quaker Valley led off that inning with three straight hits, scoring two more runs to take a 6-2 lead.
“They out-hit us,” said Crum. “They were jumping all over the ball. And the bottom of the order was doing what ours was doing all year long — they were producing.”
Saegertown wasn’t going down without a fight, though.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Wise led it off with a single down the third base line. Scott Sada drew a walk to put two on with no outs.
Then Stephen Sada belted a triple to right field to bring both runners home. It was his second three-bagger of the game. He also singled and scored in the third inning to tie the game at 1-1.
After his seventh-inning triple, Mitchell Wood brought Sada home with a single through the right side, making it a 6-5 game with the tying run on base and no outs.
The bunt sign was on for Austin Scere. The offering from QV pitcher Jake Pilewicz was well out of the strike zone, leaving Scere little opportunity to put the ball in play. But Wood took off. Catcher Ben Utterback’s throw to second was well ahead of Wood. Wood turned around and tried to make it back to first, but was gunned down.
The wind seemed sucked out of Saegertown’s sails. The last two batters went down in order. Game over.
“We had a bunt on,” said Crum. “It wasn’t a straight steal. (Wood) was being aggressive. We were trying to get that runner into scoring position. Then we’d have one out and our 4 and 5 batters up. It wasn’t Mitch’s mistake. I don’t want him shouldering that burden. It wasn’t any one kid’s mistake. We still had two outs. We still could have made something happen. But we didn’t do it.”
Pilewicz earned the win on the mound, working the final three innings in relief. He allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
Garbee, the starter, went four innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked two and struck out zero.
Quaker Valley moves on to face Shady Side Academy — a winner over Blairsville yesterday, 3-1 in eight innings — in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Saegertown finishes its season with a record of 19-3 and says good-bye to five seniors, including, Carter, Stephen Sada, Scere, Tyler Walters, Jacob Digiacomo and Tyler McCray.
And just like that, Saegertown’s stupendous spring has come to an end.
District 1 girls enjoy day off
It was a tense day for many of the teams participating in the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Wednesday.
District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey
Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.
District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs
Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
“Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.
Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback
The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.
District 1 dominates at East Regional
Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.
Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time
With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.
Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal
There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.
Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise
Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.
Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske
Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.
District 1 looking forward to bigger goals
The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.
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