Shoemaker’s single in 10th lifts No. 3 Bethel Park past Seneca Valley in WPIAL quarterfinals
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 10:49 PM
Brandon Cole had four hits, including a solo homer, and Cooper Shoemaker knocked home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Bethel Park edged Seneca Valley, 3-2, in the WPIAL Class 6A baseball quarterfinals Tuesday at Boyce-Mayview Park.
The victory propelled the No. 3-seeded Black Hawks into Wednesday’s semifinals where they will face No. 2 Pine-Richland at Matulevic Field in Shaler at 3:30 p.m.
“We’ve been in a couple of these this year,” Bethel Park coach Tony Fisher said. “This is our third one that has gone 10 or more innings, and we’re finally fortunate to be on the other side of the outcome.”
Seneca Valley scraped home single runs in the second and third innings in between a Cole home run in the Bethel Park second.
The Raiders’ Jon McCullough and Josh McLean hit sacrifice flies as Seneca Valley led 2-1 through five innings.
Then came the pivotal sixth inning.
Seneca Valley loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, an error and a perfect bunt single by McCullough.
Black Hawks junior starter Evan Bromley struck out pinch hitter Matt Stanger, and then Fisher made a pitching change with Raiders leadoff hitter Mark Trotta due up.
“It would have been his fourth time seeing Trotta,” Fisher said. “We wanted to give him something different. We respect Trotta; he’s a very good hitter.”
The move paid off as junior Kevin Kogler came in and got Trotta to hit into a 5-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Kogler led off with a double and courtesy runner Samuel Donaldson scored on a Cole RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
Both teams had chances after the game was tied, but the pitchers kept winning battles to keep the game tied through nine innings.
Bromley started and pitched 5 1/3 innings for Bethel Park. He was followed by Kogler, who threw 2 2/3, and sophomore Eric Chalus, who tossed two scoreless innings.
Senior Cory Greiner pitched seven innings for Seneca Valley and gave up two runs on eight hits. Sophomore Ethan Edkins pitched two scoreless innings in relief until the 10th inning.
Chalus and Kogler singled and Anthony Strangis walked to load the bases with no outs. After Cole fouled out, Shoemaker singled to left, and the Hawks celebrated their first trip to the semifinals since 2015.
“They play for me like I play for them,” said Strangis, the lone starting senior. “I hope I lead them with a little more experience, but they are all mature guys who come out here and give it their all.”
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