Riverview baseball team falls short in bid for PIAA berth
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Equal parts excitement and exhaustion hung in the air around Sewickley Academy's dugout during the moments immediately following Thursday's WPIAL Class A baseball consolation game.
In Riverview's dugout, there was exasperation.
With a spot in the PIAA Class A playoffs on the line, Riverview and Sewickley Academy answered each other's offensive outbursts and defensive meltdowns during the Panthers' 9-8 win in nine innings in the WPIAL consolation game Thursday night at Washington & Jefferson's Ross Memorial Park.
Sophomore Drew Zbihley delivered his second walk-off hit in two weeks, a bases-loaded single to right field that drove in Ben DiNardo.
No. 13 seed Sewickley Academy (10-6) advanced to play District 9 champion Elk County Catholic (21-0) in the PIAA first round Monday at a time and site to be determined.
“We knew we were better than our seeding,” said Zbihley, who also had a walk-off hit in the Panthers' 4-2 win over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals. “We've had our ups and downs, but when we pull together, we can play with the best of them.”
No. 11 Riverview (14-7) left the field irked about several controversial calls made by the first base umpire, who awarded Sewickley Academy a double play in the first inning and charged the Raiders with runner interference in the sixth. The latter call extended an inning in which the Panthers scored their game-tying eighth run.
“I feel bad for these guys that put everything out there, and then they've got to have that happen to them,” Riverview coach Rich Griser said. “They're battling themselves, and then they've got to battle (the umps) too.”
When the teams found their offenses in the sixth inning, they did so with help from wavering defenses.
Hanus walked and later scored on a passed ball. Jake Paradise reached on a throwing error to first base and put the Raiders ahead 8-5 when Sewickley Academy again failed to get an out on a routine ground ball to first.
Sewickley used a leadoff single, a hit-by-pitch and a walk to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth. John Nagel hit a sacrifice fly, and Connor Duddy beat a throw home after Riverview tried to get Drew Zbihley, who moved to second on a fly ball.
Zbihley seemingly was thrown out stealing third to end the bottom of the sixth, but the umpires called runner interference on Hanus at shortstop. Zbihley scored during the following at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game at 8.
“This was an unbelievable baseball game,” Sewickley Academy coach Andrew Heck said. “There were a lot of tough calls, but they go both ways. You can be upset about that, or you can move on, and we did a heck of a job moving on.”
Riverview's Jason Anthony drove in three runs with triple to deep left-center field in the top of the third. Anthony then scored when shortstop Sam Duerr mishandled a grounder.
Duerr redeemed himself in the bottom half of the inning with a ground-rule double, and Derrick Littlefield followed with a two-run double that tied the score at 4.
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.
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- High school notebook: Baseball standouts showcase their skills for pro scouts
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation