Beaver rolls past section rival Blackhawk for 4th WPIAL baseball title
By: Chris Harlan
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 | 9:03 PM
Six runs was the unofficial goal, but Beaver reached that by the fourth inning and the number just kept going higher.
Ultimately, the Bobcats combined 15 hits, nine walks and five Blackhawk errors to route their section rival 13-2 in the WPIAL Class 4A championship Wednesday night at Wild Things Park. The offensive outburst earned hot-hitting Beaver (14-7) its fourth WPIAL baseball title overall and its first under first-year coach Noah Medich.
“We came into this game saying: ‘If we score more than six runs, we’ll beat them,’” said senior Mike Champ, who scored three times with a home run included.
The sixth-seeded Bobcats had at least one run in all seven innings. With postseason victories of 5-0, 10-0 and 7-2, they outscored their four WPIAL playoff opponents 35-4.
“In the playoffs, the bats really started to get hot,” Medich said. “I was waiting all season for us to be firing on all pistons. … Tonight they just put it all together and made it work. It was awesome.”
Zach Hansen went 4 for 5 with a double and three RBIs. Harrison Pontoli reached base five times with three hits, two walks and two runs scored
The victory was long-awaited for a roster that features 14 seniors. The group endured losing records the past three seasons, but saw a turnaround with a new coach and a drop to Class 4A.
“New coach, new mindset,” Pontoli said. “We knew it was our last year, so we had to go all the way.”
Beaver starter Jack Yanssens allowed two runs in five innings with four hits, one walk and one strikeout. Mason Rose pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Blackhawk (16-5) had won 3-2 when the teams met three weeks ago, a win that earned the Cougars the section title. But this game turned lopsided quickly.
Beaver led 3-0 after the third inning and 9-2 after the fifth. The team scored one run apiece in the first three innings, three each in the fourth and fifth, and two more in both the sixth and seventh.
Eight of the nine batters in Beaver’s lineup scored at least once, forcing Blackhawk to use six pitchers. Cougars starter Christopher DeLuca allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in two innings.
The 13 runs were the most allowed by Blackhawk all season.
“It was the combination of a lot of different things,” Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia said. “I don’t think we played well, but they swung the bat. They’re a good hitting team, they played well and they’re on a hot streak. They’re beating people pretty good.”
— TribLive HSSN (@TribLiveHSSN) May 30, 2019
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .