One poor inning sinks state title hopes for North Allegheny baseball

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 9:54 PM


GREENE TOWNSHIP — North Allegheny’s strong season vaporized in one nightmarish inningin the PIAA Class 6A baseball semifinals at Greene Township Park. Central Bucks South tallied nine runs in the bottom of the sixth to grab an 11-6 victory and a berth in the state finals Friday at Penn State’s Medlar Field.

The Titans will face league foe Souderton, a 3-0 winner over Neshaminy in the other semifinal. Souderton defeated the Titans twice this season.

Central Bucks South (20-8), the District 1 runner-up, scored nine runs on five hits, four walks, a hit batter and an error.

“The game is never over until the final out is made,” Tigers coach Andrew Heck said. “In baseball, you have to throw strikes, make plays and minimize damage in any inning. Give them credit. They hit the ball with runners on base in that inning. We had some walks, a double play we didn’t convert and a flare to right and a ball off our third baseman’s glove.”

Trailing 6-2, the Titans sandwiched a single between two walks to load the bases. The first run came home on a bobbled grounder, and walk forced in another run. A single by Jake McKeown and back-to-back doubles by Joey Lloyd and Jake Trachtenberg plated five more runs. A hit batter and another walk sandwiched two outs before Dakota Beck flared a hit to right field to score two more runs for an 11-6 lead heading into the seventh.

“This team never gives up, and I can’t say what changed in that sixth inning,” said Titans coach Brian Klummp. “We were much more patient in our approach, but we were aggressive when swinging at strikes. We have been very good at getting to pitchers the second or third time around. We were down, but this team is battle-tested. North Allegheny is a very good team, and it is a shame that someone had to lose this game today.”

In the second inning, a hit batter, a walk, a hit and a fielder’s choice got Joey Colella to the plate with two outs and the bases juiced. Colella ripped a bases-clearing double to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead..

In the fourth, Cam Medic doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Shane Murphy’s double to the fence in left-center for a 4-1 lead.

The Titans tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Owen Petrich.

North Allegheny (19-7) scored two unearned runs in the fifth as the third out was dropped by an outfielder and Medic singled to score another run.

Cam Medic, Anthony Hattrup, and Jared Orwell had two hits each for the Tigers.

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