2022 PIAA Class 4A baseball championship preview: Montour vs. Holy Ghost Prep

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Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 4:14 PM


PIAA Class 4A baseball championship

Montour (20-6) vs. Holy Ghost Prep (18-5)

1:30 p.m. Thursday at Medlar Field, Lubrano Park at Penn State

Path to Penn State

Montour – The WPIAL runners-up defeated District 6 champion Bellefonte in the first round, 13-9, rolled past District 3 champion East Pennsboro, 12-3, in the quarterfinals and extracted sweet revenge from their District 7 title game loss by edging West Mifflin in the semifinals, 2-1.

Holy Ghost Prep – The District 1 champions beat Littlestown from District 3 in the first round, 9-0, and defeated District 11 champion Saucon Valley, 6-1, in the quarterfinals before beating District 12 champion Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast in the semifinals, 4-3.

Secret to their success

Montour – The Spartans relied on their offense in the first two rounds of the state playoffs, producing 25 runs in those wins before turning to pitching and defense to defeat WPIAL champion West Mifflin in the semifinals. Senior Dylan Mathieson was outstanding for Montour on the mound against the Titans, allowing only four hits while striking out 10, including three in the seventh inning. In the last two games, senior Mason Sike has three hits and five RBI, continuing his lights-out season. Juniors Tony Markulin and Brock Janeda each homered in the opening round win for Montour. Sophomore Jake Robinson had three RBIs in the quarterfinals victory.

Holy Ghost Prep – Firebirds senior Nick Henn has been the winning pitcher in all three state playoff wins for HGP, throwing a total of 11⅓ innings over the three games. His longest outing was 4⅓ in the semifinals. Junior Reese Accord has carried the big stick for Holy Ghost Prep. He is batting .400 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs, including five runs driven in over the last two games. Junior Aiden Robbins leads the team with a .435 batting average.

Championship factoids

Montour – The Spartans are now 7-3 all-time in PIAA baseball playoff games as they make their first appearance in the state finals. Montour reached the state semifinals last year before bowing to New Castle. The two previous seasons the Spartans participated in the PIAA baseball playoffs were 2001 and 2015, both times losing in the quarterfinals. This marks the sixth straight season a WPIAL team is playing in the 4A finals. Ringgold (2018) and New Castle (2021) were winners while Plum (2016), South Park (2017) and Beaver (2019) settled for silver.

Holy Ghost Prep – The Firebirds are 6-7 all-time in the PIAA playoffs and are making their first trip to a state championship game. The program reached the quarterfinals in three previous trips to the state postseason in 1990, 2013 and 2021 but had never reached the state semifinals before this season. Boyertown was the last District 1 team to win a PIAA 4A championship in 2016.

WPIAL — This is the fifth season the PIAA has hosted six state championship baseball games. This year, the WPIAL sends three teams to Penn State looking to cap their outstanding seasons with state gold. It has been a mixed bag for District 7 teams in the PIAA finals since expansion in 2017. The greatest success was last spring when five teams played in the state championship game and Bethel Park and New Castle returned as champions. Four teams reached the title game in 2018 with Canon-McMillan, Ringgold and Vincentian Academy all winning. In 2017 and 2019, only two WPIAL teams reached the finals with Latrobe in ’17 bringing home the only state crown.

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