13th-seeded Beaver comes from behind to beat GCC
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At a cursory glance it might have seemed like Greensburg Central Catholic had a cakewalk into the WPIAL Class AA semifinals when 13th-seeded Beaver pulled off a first-round upset of No. 4 Seton-La Salle
Not to the Centurions' brain trust.
“I actually thought they were a good team,” Greensburg Central Catholic assistant coach Tom Appleby said. “I looked at who they played, and I knew they were going to be a good team for us, and they wouldn't be a lay-down because their losses were to very good teams and they hit the ball.”
To be fair, Beaver (12-6) only had hits in two of the seven innings against Greensburg Central Catholic, but the Bobcats were able to string them together and, coupled with a critical error and a couple of mental mistakes, they were able to come away with a 7-2 victory over the No. 4 Centurions in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals at Hampton.
Beaver will play defending champion and top-seeded Deer Lakes, a 13-3 winner over McGuffey, on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
“I don't want to brag, but we've been doing this all year,” Beaver coach Butch Rousseau said. “It seems like whenever we get behind, from top to bottom, somebody comes up with a big hit to get us back in the game and gets them fired up.”
Greensburg Central Catholic led, 2-0, in the top of the fourth when Bella Valent smacked an RBI single to halve the Centurions' lead. Ashley Kondracki then followed with a two-run triple to score Valent and courtesy runner Yamaly Jusino to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead.
Haley Champ capped the four-run outburst with a single that scored Kondracki and put the Bobcats ahead to stay.
It wasn't like Greensburg Central didn't have its opportunities against freshman Casey Farkasovsky. The Centurions had a runner on in every inning except the seventh but went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and hit into an inning-ending double play in the third.
“We stranded a couple girls on base with two outs in a couple innings,” Appleby said. “That always comes back to bite you when you don't get those runs in.”
Greensburg Central Catholic also couldn't manufacture a run to try to get back into the game. Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Kristin Hickey singled and went to second on a groundout. After the out was recorded, first baseman Kondracki threw back to second and caught Hickey making too wide a turn.
Caught in a rundown, Hickey eluded the tag of shortstop Jayda Justice and made it safely to third, but Justice flipped the ball to the bag with no one covering. Appleby immediately sent the runner, but third baseman Champ recovered and threw a strike to the plate to gun down Hickey with a few feet to spare.
From there, Beaver added three runs off starter Nikki Adisey in the seventh — keyed by Jennifer Kondracki's two-run double — to put it away.
“I think once they started getting a couple hits there, and the heat might have been a factor, too, and a little bit of frustration, but she's a gamer,” Appleby said of Adisey. “She'll come back.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KBarnes_Trib.
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