Knoch's Voltz enjoys comeback in WPIAL all-star game
Knoch senior Chase Voltz has seen some unusual baseball games, but nothing like Sunday's WPIAL all-star baseball nightcap.
Voltz, a member of the Class AAA all-star team, saw his squad fall behind by seven runs.
But the Class AAAA lead wasn't safe. Class AAA pecked away, finally scoring three runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 10-9 victory in the 10th annual WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association all-star showcase at Robinson Township's Burkett Complex.
Voltz contributed a double, single, two runs and two RBI.
Mars pitcher Dave Bednar came in with two outs in the third and Class AAAA in front, 9-2. After recording an out on a double-steal attempt, Bednar slammed the door, giving up one hit in 3 1⁄3 innings.
“Bednar's in my section, so I knew he was a great pitcher,” Voltz said. “He proved it today, and we came up with the victory.”
After Ambridge's Steve Antolic drove in the winning run, Voltz made a stellar play at shortstop to help preserve the lead in the bottom of the ninth on a ball hit by Bethel Park's Logan Corrigan.
For 8 2⁄3 innings, it looked like Plum's Zac Manuppelli would be the Class AAAA winning pitcher. He tossed three innings and gave up two runs. Meanwhile, his team was piling up what appeared to be a solid lead.
In the first game, St. Joseph's John Arcuri made two outstanding plays at third base for the Class A all-stars.
In the eighth inning, he charged in to grab a little nubber, barehanded it and fired to first base to retire Kevin Begley of Deer Lakes to end the eighth inning.
In the ninth, with the score tied and the potential winning run at third, Arcuri snagged a scorcher near the line and threw to first for the out.
The plays helped preserve a 4-4 tie against the Class AA all-stars. Officials made a pregame decision to end games after nine innings, regardless of the score.
“I didn't come into this game looking for anything spectacular,” Arcuri said. “I wanted to have some fun; didn't know I'd play four innings. I'm just glad I was picked for this game.”
An early successful contributor for the Class AA team was Freeport's Robbie Miller. After a scoreless first inning, Miller started a two-run second with a single and took second on an error in right field. With two outs, Dylan Jones of Riverside knocked in Miller with a single.
“This was nice being around a bunch of good players,” Miller said, who was among several Freeport seniors who excelled in multiple sports. “The whole way coming up we've played everything, and we're a tight-knit group of athletes.”
“It feels kind of weird to be done,” added Miller after the final event of his scholastic career.
Washington's Jordan Allen hit a two-run triple in the ninth to forge the 4-4 stalemate.
George Guido is a freelance writer.