Beaver loses PIAA Class AA title game on walk-off
TribLIVE Sports Videos
UNIVERSITY PARK — For a moment, Beaver nearly had another chance.
But a walk-off single dashed the Bobcats' hopes for extra innings in Friday's 5-4 loss to Loyalsock in the PIAA Class AA championship at Penn State's Medlar Field. The winning run came just after Beaver had rallied to tie.
“It's such a crushing blow when you lose such a tight game like that,” Beaver associate coach Jeff Mullen said. “Sometimes it's easier when you lose a game that you're blown out.”
WPIAL champion Beaver (20-4) was seeking its first state championship. Instead, District 4 runner-up Loyalsock (22-3) added a second to the trophy it won in 2008.
Beaver had struggled all afternoon. It made three errors, and standout pitcher Austin Ross uncharacteristically hit three and walked four others.
Yet, until the end, the Bobcats had a chance.
“We were lucky to still be in it,” Beaver coach Bruce Herstine said. “When you put nine guys on base for free, you're not going to win many games.”
The winning run received one of those free passes.
With the score tied, 4-4, in the seventh, Ross hit Loyalsock's Robbie Kline with a pitch, and a sacrifice bunt moved Kline to second. Bailey Young's single to right scored Kline ahead of the throw home. That broke the tie Beaver had resiliently forced in the inning's top half, when Austin Logan walked and scored on Nick Hineman's single.
Errors caused Beaver to fall behind. The Bobcats had a throwing error in the outfield that aided Loyalsock's two-run third inning. They also had two more errors in the fifth, when Loyalsock scored again.
“Every one of those errors cost us a run,” said Herstine, who shared coaching duties with Mullen this season while recovering from neck surgery. “It just wasn't our day. It wasn't the game we had played all the way through the playoffs. Through the WPIALs and state we played clean ball — no mistakes. In this game, maybe because it's such a big game, we made some really bad mistakes.”
Beaver led, 1-0, when catcher Ben Herstine and Ross singled in the first. A groundout by Hineman scored Herstine from third.
After Loyalsock scored one in the second and two more in the third, Beaver never again led.
The Bobcats tied in the fourth, 3-3, when Hineman, Matt Rose and Alex Rowse all singled, scoring Hineman and Jon Hill. But using two singles, a walk and two errors, Loyalsock retook the lead in the fifth.
“We were just as good as them or better,” Logan said, “but we had errors. It's just unfortunate, I guess.”
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.
- Derry baseball team turns tables on Southmoreland
- High school roundup: Mt. Lebanon rolls to victory
- High school roundup: Bethel Park upsets No. 1 Canon-McMillan
- Trib Cup: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic loading up on games to prep for postseason
- Greensburg high school roundup: No. 4 Hempfield baseball routs Norwin
- Daily News roundup: Uniontown upsets No. 4 West Mifflin
- Serra Catholic baseball team’s outburst sinks Monessen
- Kittanning baseball eyes 1st section title since 1993