South Park edges Keystone Oaks in semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
South Park pitcher Randy Dobnak and his Keystone Oaks counterpart Jared Skolnicki used dominant performances to add some heat to an already sweltering afternoon.
The starters turned Tuesday's WPIAL Class AAA semifinal at Upper St. Clair's Boyce-Mayview Recreation Complex into a pitchers' duel that top-seeded South Park won, 1-0, to remain unbeaten and advance to next week's title game.
Dobnak shut down the Golden Eagles (17-5) for four innings, conceding just one hit and two walks while striking out eight.
Coach Steve Bucci lifted him in the fifth to give Keystone Oaks hitters another look on the mound but praised the senior's work with both his fastball and off-speed pitches.
“Everything was working,” Dobnak said. “I was hitting my spots, and I've got to give it to my catcher for blocking those balls out there in the dirt.”
Dobnak credited his ability to get first-pitch strikes with his curveball for keeping the Golden Eagles off balance until Jake Bywalski relieved him after four frames. Bywalski combined with Nick Yobbi — who notched the save — for three scoreless innings to seal the victory for the Eagles (23-0).
Skolnicki, who entered the game 8-0 this season, was almost as good. Though the first-inning run he gave up on an RBI single by Yobbi proved to be the difference, he yielded just two hits and a walk while striking out 11 in six innings.
“He was outstanding, as usual,” KO coach Scott Crimone said. “We have confidence he can beat anybody when he's on the mound.”
Both coach and player are hopeful they'll get another shot at South Park in the PIAA playoffs provided they earn a third-place finish with a win in the consolation final next week against West Allegheny, which lost to Hopewell in Tuesday's other semifinal.
And Skolnicki, despite Tuesday's loss, is confident in his team's chances if there is a rematch, even if the Eagles still boast an unblemished record.
“I've got to give credit to South Park. They're undefeated for a reason,” Skolnicki said. “I think if we played them 10 times, we might win five or six, maybe. I think we're two evenly matched teams.”
But while the Golden Eagles will be playing to stay alive next week, South Park will be looking to finish an unbeaten WPIAL season with a title when it faces second-seeded Hopewell at Consol Energy Field. The date and time has yet to be determined.
Bucci said the Eagles will work on jump-starting their offense after it was held in check for most of the win.
“Preparation and all these things have been happening for us all year,” Bucci said. “We've just got to take the next game.”
Adam Bittner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Foundation helps fill funding gap
- Brass plaque stolen from McKeesport veterans memorial
- Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
- Kittanning, Kiski police getting trained to help abuse victims
- Real estate union: Howard Hanna buys Langholz Wilson Ellis
- Pitt: Football coach hire comes 1st, athletic director 2nd
- Roundup: PPG in talks to acquire French company
- Michigan State defensive coordinator a Pitt coaching candidate
- Pitt’s acting athletic director is deft facilitator
- Hotel building boom sweeps Pittsburgh region