Penn-Trafford baseball falls to Central Catholic in playoffs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The line drive looked good coming off Scott Koscho's bat.
Sounded good, too.
Unfortunately for the Penn-Trafford baseball team, however, it went right to the waiting glove of Central Catholic centerfielder Matt Stoessel, and what could have been a game-tying extra-base hit turned into a routine sacrifice fly in the seventh inning of a WPIAL playoff opener Monday at CCAC-Boyce.
The play turned out to be the difference in the Warriors' 4-3 loss to the Vikings.
“I saw it, and I said, ‘My god, that's going right to him,'” Penn-Trafford coach Ron Evans said. “We hit that gap either side, and (it's a tie game). But what are you going to do?”
More than just a rally-killer, Koscho's liner represented the overall offensive frustration the Warriors felt Monday.
Penn-Trafford kept making contact against Central Catholic starter Grant Gustic, recording just three strikeouts in the first six innings of the game. But more often than not, the Penn-Trafford hits didn't find any holes. The team finished with just six hits.
“Everything we hit, we hit right at them,” Evans said. “We hit some shots right at them. Their centerfielder made three great plays that I don't know if too many centerfielders in the league would have made.”
Penn-Trafford (13-7) fell behind Central Catholic, 1-0, in the first inning. Senior pitcher Ross Orgera struggled with his command, walking a batter and hitting another before a run-scoring single by Sabatino DiNardo gave the Vikings the lead.
After Shane Mallon was thrown out at home plate attempting to tie the score in the top of the second, Central Catholic widened its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the inning. A two-out single by Alex Barretta plated two runs.
Penn-Trafford tightened its deficit to 3-1 in the third when Luke Smeltz singled, stole second and eventually scored on Shane Churma's sacrifice fly. Central Catholic got the run back in the fourth to widen its lead to three runs again.
Both Orgera and Gustic clamped down after that.
“He was high with his pitches, and his back was tight when he started today,” Evans said of Orgera, who allowed four runs on six hits and struck out five in six innings.
“I think once he loosened up, he got a little better. Ross did a great job, holding that team to four runs.”
The Warriors mounted their comeback attempt in the top of the seventh. Josh Brammell led off with a double, moved to third when Tyler Smith reached on an error and scored on a single by Mallon.
Central Catholic brought Garrett Urbanic in to face Koscho. After the Penn-Trafford catcher's sacrifice fly, Smeltz flew out and Ryan Marasti struck out to end the game.
Despite the loss, Evans said he was proud of the way his young team fought until the end. The Warriors started just two seniors against Central Catholic, the Section 3-AAAA champion.
“Nobody gave these guys a chance to even be in this game today,” Evans said. “All you heard (about) was Pittsburgh Central. These kids gave them all they could handle. We're one hit away from taking the lead. These kids had a great year, and we're proud of everything they accomplished.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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.
- Two dead in apparent murder-suicide in North Oakland
- Starkey: What are Penguins, Pirates up to?
- 3 in Westmoreland charged in prescription narcotics operation
- District attorney rejects polygraph deal in molestation case
- Pitt’s 2015 schedule includes 5 road games in 1st 7 games
- Highmark members to keep maternity care at Magee in 2015
- Kennametal plans plant closings, job cuts; fallout from oil and gas decline
- San Francisco blaze kills Mission District resident
- Capitals dominate overmatched Penguins in win at Verizon Center
- Homeland chief says cuts over immigration puts U.S. at risk
- Woman pays $178 fine for Westmoreland courthouse conduct