Peters Township edges No. 4 Bethel Park in 10 innings

Monday, April 29, 2019 | 10:02 PM

There is no clause in the Section 3-6A baseball rule book that calls for overtime pay for players performing after the regulation seven innings.

Although you can’t help but wonder if that’s not the case when Peters Township and Bethel Park hook up on the high school diamond.

For the second time this season, the Indians and Black Hawks went well beyond seven innings, and just like their earlier meeting, Peters Township prevailed.

After losing leads in the seventh and ninth innings, the Indians held on to beat the Black Hawks, 5-4, in 10 innings Monday afternoon at Bethel Park.

Mac Ciocco singled home pinch runner Jack Kail with the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th to give Peters Township sole possession of first place.

“Bethel is about as good a coached team there is,” said 35-year Peters Township coach Joe Maize. “Tony (Fischer) has done an unbelievable job with that program.”

The Indians handed the Black Hawks their only other section loss three weeks ago when Peters Township won 2-1 in 13 innings.

Both starting pitchers were dominant, as senior Tom Colcombe of Peters Township and sophomore Eric Chalus of Bethel Park each allowed one earned run in six innings.

After the Indians scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie, the Black Hawks tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Kevin Kogler to score Sean McGowan.

Peters Township scored two runs in the top of the ninth on doubles by Joe Ehland, Jackson McCloskey and Dax Ploskina.

But Bethel Park rallied again when Brandon Cole drilled a two-run single up the middle to score McGowan and Kogler, and the game once again moved into double-digit innings.

Sophomore Josh Peters was brought in as the third Bethel Park pitcher in the 10th and gave up a one-out double to Sam Quinn that set up the winning run on Ciocco’s single.

The Black Hawks stranded 12 runners, eight in scoring position, as they could not take advantage of 10 hits, seven walks and two hit batters.

“We were dancing through rain drops because Bethel was putting a lot of pressure on us,” Maize said. “It was our own fault, too, because I think we had six or seven walks and a hit batsmen, and most of the time, you’re not going to win to many ballgames when you do that.”

McCloskey and Quinn led the Indians with three hits each, as Peters Township (11-4, 8-1) won for the fourth straight time.

McGowan, Kogler, Cole and Cooper Shoemaker all had two hits for Bethel Park. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Black Hawks (10-3, 6-2).

“That was definitely a total team effort out there today,” Maize said. “Our pitchers gutted through giving up some walks and getting guys on base while relying on their defense, then getting the key base hits when we needed it.“

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