Quaker Valley baseball headed to PIAA touranment
The last time the Quaker Valley baseball team played for a WPIAL title, Ronald Reagan was in his first time as President, Michael Jackson won eight Grammy Awards for “Beat It” and a gallon of gas set drivers back $1.21.
The Quakers ended the 29-year streak after defeating Deer Lakes, 4-0, in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals last week. Quaker Valley faced Beaver for the WPIAL title Tuesday. Results were unavailable at prior to this edition's deadline; visit sports.triblive.com for coverage.
“It's really exciting with it being my senior year,” outfielder Nelson Westwood said. “You couldn't ask for a better group of guys to play with.”
Against Deer Lakes last week, Clayton Bouchard walked in the bottom of the first and stole second and third to get into scoring position. Westwood connected on a shot to left field to drive Bouchard home and put the Quakers up early. A Lancers' throwing error allowed Westwood to advance from second to third. Shane Emery singled the senior home to give Quaker Valley a two-run lead.
Bouchard singled with two outs to bring Christian Miller home in the second inning and extend the lead to 3-0.
“As a pitcher, it really helps me out when the bats get going early,” senior Jake Pilewicz said. “It is good knowing they have my back. Going out there with the lead is an amazing feeling.”
The final Quakers run came in the bottom of the sixth when a Matt Delie triple dove Emery home.
Pilewicz finished the game with eight strikeouts and one walk. It was the team's sixth shutout of the season.
The win gave Quaker Valley a sweep of the Section 3-AA playoff teams in the playoffs. The Quakers also defeated Burrell, 6-3, and Freeport, 6-1, during their playoff run.
No matter the outcome of the WPIAL title game, the team has earned a spot in the PIAA playoffs. Playing into June is an experience first-year coach Todd Goble is welcoming.
“I am getting a little tired,” Goble said with a laugh. “No, this is awesome. Coaching this team is great.”