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Mistakes catch up to Pine-Richland baseball team in PIAA loss

| Sunday, June 11, 2017, 9:10 p.m.
After scoring, Pine-Richland's Joey Bolick is congratulated by teammates Alex Lamendola and Troy Laneve against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
After scoring, Pine-Richland's Joey Bolick is congratulated by teammates Alex Lamendola and Troy Laneve against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Pine-Richland starting pitcher Ryan Kuda competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland starting pitcher Ryan Kuda competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Pine-Richland center fielder Alex Lamendola competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland center fielder Alex Lamendola competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Pine-Richland second baseman Joey Bolick competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland second baseman Joey Bolick competes against North Allegheny on April 19, 2017, at Pine-Richland.

The Pine-Richland baseball team's historic season ended with a 6-4 loss to Penns Manor in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament.

Sharp defensive play, efficient pitching and opportunistic hitting were driving factors all season in propelling the Rams to their second straight section title and fifth WPIAL championship trophy.

Momentary lapses in those qualities cost the Rams in the state tournament, but as coach Kurt Wolfe said, that's just baseball.

“The boys, they came to play, and we jumped on Penns Manor, 3-1, early on, so I don't think it was anything more than we just had a bad day, unfortunately. We were ready to play, we came out of the gates and kept the lead all the way up until the fifth inning,” Wolfe said.

“I think we had three or four errors all in one inning and then walked a few kids and hit a guy. It all happened at once, but that's how it goes. But that doesn't change how well these young men played all year. They had such a good season. One game can't define you, even if it was a state playoff game.”

Five starters will return next season, but the Rams also will graduate nine seniors: Alex Lamendola, Joe Bolick, Hunter Treece, Nick Montanari, Jacob Maggi, Thomas Zbezinski, Ryan Okuda, Logan Dewitt, Maxx Harpalani. Each contributed in important ways, Wolfe said.

“Winning is great and championships are awesome, but at the end of the day, it's the young men and the families that they come from that make this all enjoyable. Being able to coach young men that are just great kids, that's what makes a season fun,” Wolfe said.

“You can be on great teams, championship teams, but if they're not great kids, that it takes a little bit away from it. They're great kids, and they'll be missed. It's been a total pleasure, and it's so much fun for me to be around them as a coach.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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