WPIAL runner-up Quaker Valley puts title-game loss aside
The Quaker Valley baseball team's unbeaten streak came to an end at the wrong time.
The Quakers fell to Beaver, 7-1, in the WPIAL Class AA title game last week. While it moved the team's record to 21-1 and not the 22-0 it hoped for, coach Todd Goble still praised his squad.
“What they have done for the community and Quaker Valley baseball is beyond what people can comprehend right now,” the first-year coach said. “They are great kids. I am very proud of them.”
The Bobcats used a five-run third inning to take control of the game. Beaver added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to round out its scoring.
The Quakers lone run came in the fourth when Nelson Westwood scored on a Shane Emery groundout.
The one run scored was well below Quaker Valley average of eight runs per game and Beaver's seven runs was the most allowed by the Quakers this season.
“One loss doesn't mean we are done,” Goble said after the game. “We have to take our hats off to Beaver. They have played a great game. Now we need to get back to work. We don't need to rebound from anything. This is our first loss. We just need to keep our routine and keep playing.”
Beaver pitcher and Radford recruit Austin Ross threw a complete game, recording nine strikeouts and giving up only three hits.
“He is a hard kid to hit against,” senior Jake Pilewicz said. “I play with him during the summer. I know he is a great pitcher. He was throwing strikes. He was throwing hard and mixing it up.”
It was only the second time in school history Quaker Valley reached the WPIAL title game. The first came in 1984 when the Quakers defeated Carlynton, 7-4, to capture its only district baseball title.
The loss in the WPIAL title game will sting for awhile but the Quakers won't allow it to diminish what they have done — and hope to do.
“As a senior, I am very proud,” Pilewicz said. “I have never been to the playoffs. And we did something not a lot of teams do — we went undefeated in the regular season. We are going to do all we can to make a run at states.”
While the hope of adding another WPIAL title to the trophy case was dashed, the Quakers have no plans of hanging their uniforms up anytime soon. The second-place finish in the WPIAL qualified Quaker Valley for the PIAA tournament — the Quakers faced Saegertown in the opening round of the Class AA playoffs Monday. Results were unavailable before this edition's deadline.
Being the WPIAL runner-up isn't always a bad thing entering the state playoffs. Riverside finished as last season's No. 2 WPIAL team in Class AA and won the PIAA title.
“We are a veteran group and we lost before,” Pilewicz said. “We can bounce back. We just need to get back to the fundamentals and the way we play baseball.”