If this story had to describe every clutch hit, gutsy pitch, run-saving defensive play, or momentum-shifting moment during Monday’s playoff classic between Region 3 foes Cochranton and Linesville; there wouldn’t be room for much else in today’s newspaper.

The bottom line is: You should have been there.

Linesville, after losing twice to Cochranton in the regular season, finally put it all together in the District 10 Class A playoffs, downing the Cardinals 10-7 last night at Ainsworth Field.

“That was exciting,” said Lions head coach Todd Greenawalt. “I don’t know where to start. So many kids played well and did so many things right. It makes a coach feel good.”

Linesville, now 12-9-1 on the season, moves on to face Region 1 champion West Middlesex (12-5) in the D-10 semifinals. That game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park.

“I can’t explain how proud I am of these guys,” Greenawalt said. This is our last season as the Linesville baseball team. And they showed what it is to be part of the Linesville baseball tradition.”

Cochranton, meanwhile, ends its season with a record of 9-11. It was also the last game for head coach Jason Barber, who will soon be relocating with his family.

“From top to bottom, 1 through 17, we fought,” said Barber. “That’s something that’s always been true about these kids, they’re fighters It’s especially tough since I won’t be back next year. This is just a great bunch of guys.”

Last night’s game was highlighted by two heroic pitching performances.

Cochranton starter Ryan Northcott took the loss. He allowed eight runs (four earned) on 11 hits while walking four and striking out 10 through five and a third innings.

“Ryan battled on the mound,” said Barber.

The win went to Linesville junior Brandon Sherman. He allowed seven runs (three earned) in six hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts through a full seven innings of work.

“My arm was rubber,” Sherman said about the end of the game. “But I just kept throwing it in there.”

Offensively, the Lions had struggled against Northcott all season long. Last night, they tried a new tactic — bunting on the Cardinals ace.

“Our bunts were unreal,” said Sherman. “We haven’t bunted all year until now.”

The Lions laid down five bunts for singles and had one sacrifice bunt.

Those bunts were also followed by some clutch hits as well.

Sherman was especially hot at the plate. He went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Adrian Onderko, Lucas Graham, Jon Onderko and Jeremy Santarelli each added two hits.

The Lions had 15 hits total.

Leading Cochranton at the plate was Deven Woodworth who was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Northcott and Jesse Staudt also hit doubles.

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