Top 15 baseball finals in 15 years at Wild Things Park: Central Catholic shuts out Norwin in 2015

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 9:45 PM


The TribLive High School Sports Network is counting down the Top 15 WPIAL baseball championship games held over the past 15 years at Wild Things Park.

Catch all the postseason action on the exclusive broadcast home of the WPIAL baseball playoffs, the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Here's a look at No. 14:

2015 Class AAAA championship: Central Catholic 2, Norwin 0

In the three WPIAL playoff games leading up to the 2015 Class AAAA championship contest, Norwin yielded nothing. The Knights' team ERA was like fictional character John Blutarsky's grade-point average at Faber College.

Zero, point, zero.

The Knights polished off North Allegheny (1-0), Mt. Lebanon (7-0) and Bethel Park (3-0) to reach the title game for the first time in 10 years.

But on the big stage at Consol Energy Park, it was the Knights who came up with nothing.

Central Catholic scratched home single runs in the third and sixth innings to shut out Norwin, 2-0, to win the program's first baseball championship in its first title game appearance since Dan Marino helped lead the Vikings to the 1979 finals.

The Vikings opened the third inning with three straight hits, with Antonio Falbo delivering the RBI single.

The final run was an unearned tally when Dom Derenzo scored on a throwing error as he attempted to move up from second to third base to give Central Catholic some much-needed breathing room.

Jack Tumulty tossed a six-hit complete-game shutout for the program's first golden victory. However, it did not come without some serious threats by Norwin.

The Knights were turned away in the third when with two on and one out, Connor Perry lined into a double play to third basemen Joel Shaffer.

In the fourth, Reno Rainey led off with a double and went to third on a Nick Amendola single. Then Norwin pitcher John Druggers hit a ground ball to third base. Rainey broke for the plate and Shaffer threw him out at home. Back-to-back fly outs ended that Knights' threat.

Norwin was able to get the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but was turned away and had to wait one more year for the school's first baseball crown since 1960.

This was a title run for Central Catholic that nearly didn't happen. In the first round, the Vikings trailed Franklin Regional, 7-2, with two outs in the seventh when a highly improbable six-run rally led to an 8-7 victory.

Another big rally helped Central Catholic knock off Shaler in the semifinals.

The tables turned in the title game. No shutout for Norwin and no big comeback needed for Central Catholic.

Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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