Error in 9th inning leaves TJ with loss in WPIAL semis
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It took 18 innings over two playoff games, but Thomas Jefferson's Greg Schneider finally met his match.
Schneider had his way with Hampton last week when he struck out 17 and didn't allow a run in nine innings. Blackhawk didn't fare much better during Monday's Class AAA semifinal: Schneider struck out 15 and took a no-hitter into the ninth inning.
Actually, what got the best of Schneider was a patch of grass just a couple of feet in front of home plate, and it cost the Jaguars their first trip to the championship game.
Schneider slipped on a sacrifice attempt in the ninth, then threw the ball from his backside over 6-foot-5 first baseman Joe Shaffer's head, allowing Brandon Mansell to score all the way from first base with the game's only run. Blackhawk advanced to the title game for the first time since 2007 with its thrilling 1-0 win at North Allegheny.
Blackhawk (20-2) will play Belle Vernon (18-4) in next week's title game. TJ (15-5) will take on Hopewell (18-4) in the consolation game.
“He was just trying to make a play, and he's such a great athlete that he can make that play,” Thomas Jefferson coach Rich Krivanek said. “If he does that play 10 times, he makes it nine. Unfortunately tonight was the one he didn't.”
The play marred another remarkable playoff performance by Schneider. In two postseason games, he threw 18 innings, struck out 32 and allowed five hits, but all he has to show for it is a 0-1 record and a lot of frustration.
“It was the second game going into nine innings and not getting a run,” he said. “At the same time, I can't worry about it. I just need to pitch.”
Schneider allowed only his third run of the season, albeit unearned. He lowered his ERA to 0.10 as he fell to 8-1.
“He's putting up PlayStation numbers,” Krivanek said. “That's what he's been doing.”
The Pitt recruit was never threatened until Mansell broke up Schneider's no-hitter to lead off the ninth with a chopper up the middle.
“It was a fantastic game,” Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia said. “That Schneider kid is awesome. I have been coaching a lot of years and never faced a kid like that. I was hoping for 10 innings so we could get him out of there so we would have a chance.”
It never got that far because of a decision Schneider wishes he could have back.
“The grass was a little wet up there; there was nothing I could do about it,” he said. “I wish I would've held onto the ball. If I would've held onto it, I think I would've had a better chance. I think we would still be playing right now if I would've held on.”
TJ threatened only once — when Booher doubled to lead off the third. After he moved to third base, Ryan Ruffing and Joe McHugh struck out to end the threat.
Blackhawk ace Brendan McKay, who came into the game with a 0.60 ERA, was just as dominant as Schneider. He struck out 14 and retired the final 21 TJ batters.
“As good as Greg was, McKay was just as good,” Krivanek said. “Both of these kids were as good as advertised. ...
“This was a great game and, unfortunately, it probably should've been the championship game. But we have to rebound and get ready for the consolation game. I'll tell you this: They better be ready for Greg.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1978.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Knoch wins 1st WPIAL title by beating defending champ West Allegheny
- High school roundup: Montour edges CV in 9th to earn PIAA berth
- Central Catholic knocks off Norwin to win 1st WPIAL baseball title
- Knoch senior ejected from WPIAL title game for wild slide
- Previewing the the 2015 WPIAL baseball championships
- Juniata Valley holds off Blairsville for District 6 baseball title
- Serra Catholic baseball team tries to keep season alive
- Neshannock shuts out Quaker Valley to capture WPIAL championship
- Gorman: Central’s DeRenzo catches a shutout
- Pitt-bound Cyphert leads Cranberry into District 9 finals
- Greensburg Central Catholic downs defending champs California to win title