Allderdice wins 5th straight City crown
This was exactly how Allderdice wanted its string of City League baseball titles to finally end — with another title.
“In a sense, it's the end of an era,” said coach Jon Parker, whose Dragons won their fifth consecutive championship with three last-inning runs in a 4-2 victory Thursday afternoon over Brashear at PNC Park.
The Dragons' title streak is the longest since Peabody won six straight (1969-74), but there won't be another for Allderdice. City League baseball will merge into the WPIAL next season, 90 years after crowning its first champion in 1923.
“It's significant,” Parker said. “We talked at the beginning of the season about going out with five consecutive championships.”
However, this one required a seventh-inning rally without talented senior Blaise Galewski, who injured his hamstring. Trailing, 2-1, Allderdice (18-3) used four singles, a sacrifice bunt, a Brashear error and a little base-running controversy to score three times.
“I knew it was coming,” said Allderdice starter Kevin Silvio, who clinched the victory by getting two strikeouts and a lineout to shortstop.
Silvio allowed just four hits and walked four in seven innings. Limiting walks was key, said Parker, who shaved his hair into a “no-walk Mohawk” as motivation.
The last time these teams played, Brashear (15-4) had more than a dozen walks, Parker said. As a result, the Bulls swept both regular-season games, 8-7 and 7-6. But now, Allderdice will be representing the City League in the PIAA playoffs.
“We got the one that matters,” said Silvio, who didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, when Brashear's Chad Gregorius walked, Adam Lynch singled and both scored.
Brashear led, 2-1, entering the seventh and at one point was just two outs away from its first City League title since 2004.
“For this to be the end of the City League as we knew it, it's a bit disheartening,” Brashear coach Nate Geller said. “We're looking forward to the WPIAL, but that City League championship always seemed to have a certain importance. It's going to be missed.”
In the seventh, Allderdice's Max Kennedy singled, Anthony Tudi bunted him the second, and Braden Hoffer hit a misplayed single to right that allowed Kennedy to score the tying run.
The next batter, Derek Jessep, fouled a ball off his face two strikes into the at bat. He was replaced by Hunter Mervis, who hit a slow grounder to the pitcher that trapped Hoffer in a run-down between second and third.
Hoffer was tagged out, but umpires ruled that third baseman Chris Hawkins had interfered, so Hoffer was awarded third — a decision that upset Brashear.
“Unequivocally, it was the wrong call,” Geller said. “… The guy was already out of the baseline. He was a dead duck. Tied, 2-2, in the seventh inning, that's not a call you make.”
But Geller also insisted Allderdice deserved to win. After Keyshawn D'Orso struck out, Justin Zak and Brennan Hoffer hit two-out, RBI singles giving the Dragons a 4-2 lead.
Allderdice struggled against Brashear sophomore Regis Sauer, who struck out seven in seven innings. The right-hander had allowed just three hits through five scoreless innings before D'Orso singled and scored in the sixth on Hoffer's double. Then, the Dragons scored three more in the seventh, a trend for them this season.
“We always have a lot of energy in the later innings,” Zak said, “especially when we're down.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5666.