SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – A pair of District 9 teams are moving onto the semifinals of the PIAA baseball/softball playoffs after wins Thursday.
In Class A baseball, District 9 champion Elk County Catholic rode a five-run second inning to a 10-0, 5-inning win over WPIAL runner Carmichaels, while in Class AAAA softball DuBois advanced to the final four with a 9-5 win over WPIAL third-place Latrobe. Both games were played at Slippery Rock University.
In the baseball game, Ryan Childs and Brandon Schlimm combined to throw the 3-hit abbreviated shutout.
Childs started and went the first two innings allowing two hits and a walk while striking out five including the side in the first inning. Schlimm came in to the game in the third and worked three innings of one-hit ball. He hit a batter and struck out four.
Meanwhile, ECC’s offense rolled off 12 hits and took advantage of three Mighty Mikes errors.
After grabbing the 5-0 lead with the five-spot in the second, the Crusaders made it 8-0 with three more runs in the third before pushing two more across in the fifth to end the game in the Mercy Rule.
Ivan Wortman (2-for-3, a triple, 1 run scored), Dan Singer (2-for-3, a double, 2 runs scored) and Ross Brennen (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) led the ECC offense that saw ever starter get at least one hit.
Schlimm, who got the win, added a 1-for-2 performance at the plate with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs.
Brennen McMinn had two of Carmichaels’ three hits, while Ryan Zalar took the loss going 1 2/3 innings and allowing five runs, four earned, on four hits and striking out two. Billy Bowlen was tagged for five runs, four earned, on seven hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings of work while striking out one.
The Crusaders will face District 6 champion Bishop McCort in the semifinals Monday at a site and time to be determined. The Crusaders handled District 9 runner-up Cranberry 7-2 in the quarterfinals Thursday. ECC is trying to make it two years in a row in the PIAA Class A title game for District 9. Last year, D9 runner-up Johnsonburg beat Canton for the PIAA title. The Rams beat Bishop McCort 7-6 in 11 innings in come-from-behind fashion in last year’s quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, in the softball game, DuBois looked like it was going to cruise past Latrobe building an 8-0 lead over the Wildcats after three innings.
But Latrobe cut the deficit to 8-4 with a four-run sixth before DuBois got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Latrobe then scored once in the seventh before DuBois’ Rachael Henry shut the door.
The Beavers offense, meanwhile, smacked out 12 hits with Henry (2-for-4), Sierra McKee (2-for-4, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI), Raegan Hanna (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored) and Abby LaBue (2-for-4, 1 run scored) each picking up two base knocks. Sierra McKee and Hanna each had doubles as did Rachelle Kruzelak, who was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Cheyenne McKee had a triple and scored three runs while going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
DuBois will face District 12 third-place finisher Souderton in the semifinals Monday at a time and place to be determined. Souderton topped Central Mountain 6-5 in the quarterfinals Thursday.
NOTES – Two other District 9 baseball teams and a softball team were also in action Thursday with D9 champion DuBois falling 8-0 to WPIAL champion Seneca Valley in Class AAAA baseball, D9 champion Punxsutawney dropping a 9-2 decision to District 10 champion Erie Cathedral Prep in Class AAA baseball and D9 champion St. Marys falling 7-0 to Springfield Delco, the District 1 runner-up, in Class AAA softball.