ShareThis Page

Freshman Rice vaults GCC into PIAA quarterfinals

| Thursday, June 8, 2017, 8:15 p.m.

DUBOIS — Greensburg Central Catholic coach Dennis Reist was hoping to get freshman Paul Rice more plate appearances as his baseball team's playoff run continued.

On Thursday, Reist's lineup maneuver paid off as Rice slammed a bases-loaded double to give the Centurions the lead for good in a 7-2 victory over Oswayo Valley in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals at Showers Field in DuBois.

The Centurions (14-5) will move on to semifinal action Monday against District 9 runner-up Clarion(20-5) at a time and site to be determined.

Oswayo Valley, coming off the first PIAA playoff win in school history Monday, finished 20-3.

Greensburg Central loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth to chase Green Wave starter Ryan Graves. After a strikeout, Rice's sinking liner eluded Graves, who had gone into left field after reliever Gage Babcock took over pitching duties.

“I just decided to see the ball and hit it,” Rice said. “I just wanted to put the ball in play. Good things happen when you put the ball in play.”

“We switched some things up with the bottom of the order,” Reist said.

“Paul's been chomping at the bit to get some at-bats in the playoffs. As a freshman, we wanted him to get behind the plate and control my pitchers until we get him some at-bats, and he did a good job with that.”

The hit gave the Centurions a 3-2 lead. Greensburg Central added two runs in the fifth and seventh innings.

Junior right-hander Antonio Cavallo did the rest, limiting Oswayo Valley to three hits over six innings. He gave up solo runs in the second and third innings, and slammed the door after that.

“This was a really, really fun game,” Cavallo said.

“I feel we were a little slow at the beginning, then we got a little pep talk from our coaches and ourselves, and it made it a lot of fun.”

“We told him to throw strikes, and let them make the outs,” Reist said of Cavallo.

Cavallo helped his own cause with three singles and three RBIs.

His base hit in the seventh with two outs brought home Nicolas Ruggeri and Jason Hoover to put the icing on the cake.

Oswayo Valley opened the scoring with a run in the second on Justice Rees' double. Theo Henry, however, strayed too far off third and was thrown out by left fielder Joe LoNigro to end the inning with no further scoring.

“I should have pushed the envelope a little bit, I've been doing it all year,” Green Wave coach Brad Buchholz said. “I should have been more aggressive in getting him to go home. I don't think I coached all that well today.”

Oswayo Valley won the District 9 title.

“It was a fantastic season,” Buchholz said. “At one point, I didn't think we'd get through our league, let alone be district champion.”

James Rice pitched the seventh for Greensburg Central after Cavallo came close to 100 pitches.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.