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Quaker Valley keeps its cool in playoff victory

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Top high school sports
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:12 p.m.
 

If you are looking for a couple of words to describe the demeanor of the Quaker Valley baseball team, calm, cool and collected might work.

The Quakers fell behind Freeport in their WPIAL playoff showdown last week, but a rally in the fourth inning led to a 6-1 win and their first appearance in the semifinals in more than 15 years.

“I love them,” Quaker Valley coach Todd Goble said. “We can be down 8-0, and I don't think it would phase them. In the back of their minds, we are always in the game and coming back.”

The pressure was on pitcher Jake Pilewicz early. The Yellowjackets showed patience in the first inning and were able to load the bases. Luke Mariotti walked to plate a run, but Pilewicz rebounded to strike out the next batter and from there showed dominance. The senior — who had five strikeouts — did not allow another hit, and Freeport's lone runner from the second inning on occurred in the seventh inning on an error.

“I had some trouble in the first inning finding the strike zone,” Pilewicz said. “I also struggled with the hill. But after the first I made some adjustments.”

In the top of the fourth, Matt Delie drove home Pilewicz with a single to center field to tie the game at 1-1. Two batters later and with the bases loaded, Adam Pilewicz walked to give the Quakers the lead. Clayton Bouchard beat the throw to first on an infield single to extend the lead to two.

A single from Jake Pilewicz and a Nelson Westwood walk made it 5-1 by the end of the inning.

“There was no concern in the dugout,” Jake Pilewicz said. “We knew we would get our runs. We had a lot of small hits, but whatever way you can score runs is what you have to do.”

The Quakers are guaranteed at least two more games. The team played in the semifinals against Deer Lakes — results were unavailable prior to this edition's deadline — and depending on the outcome, Quaker Valley will either play for a WPIAL title or for a spot in the PIAA playoffs in the consolation game.

“School is winding down, and we are still playing,” Pilewicz said. “Its great. It never happened for us before.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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