Third Time is a Charm as Serra Catholic Claims PIAA Class A Baseball Gold

Friday, June 17, 2011 | 12:00 AM

The Serra Catholic Eagles claimed their first PIAA baseball championship by defeating the Reading Central Catholic Cardinals 4-0 at Medlar Park on Friday afternoon. Junior pitcher Alain Girman allowed just three hits and six base runners including just two over the four innings.

The Eagles had been state runners-up the past two seasons and only had three returning starters from both of those teams. Coach Brian Dzurenda said the win erased the last two seasons and the feeling afterwards.

It was not without some trouble caused by Reading Central Catholic in the first two innings. Michael Bean struck out to start the game Tyler Hafer reached on an infield single but Bean was nailed trying to go from second to third on a great throw by Brandon Coddington. Girman got the next two batters to snuff out that threat. In the second with one out Justin Ashcroft tripled off the right field wall but Girman came threw off again fanning the next two hitters to end that chance.

Serra Catholic got a run in the first inning. After two outs Chris Miller singled and stole second base girman hit a grounder to deep short. Bean?Aos throw to first was high and off the camera bay allowin Miller to score. The Eagles had a great chance in the third inning with two on and two out Girman hit a fly ball to deep right field that Andrew Hoffa made an over the shoulder basket catch.

The Eagles blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth Coddington led off with a single after a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line by Wayne Hydak that moved Coddington to second. Dylan Kugler singled home Hydak then Matt Loftis tripled to right field he scored on a throwing error by Tyler Hafer.

Leading 4-0 Girman could not be touched by the Cardinal hitters he retired ten consecutive batters from the fourth to the seventh innings including seven straight strikeouts. Girman topped out at 92 miles per hour and had a deadly curve ball as slow at 64. The junior lefty said he had his good fastball going today and came prepared. He started last year?Aos title game and left in the sixth inning with the lead. Girman ended with 13 strikeouts including Nick DeMangone to end the game. Girman is now 24-0 in his career and has struck out 210 batters over the last two seasons. Dzurenda said that was the best game he has seen Girman pitch. Miller said that was the hardest that he has seen Girman throw in catching every start.

Chad Hazaga was the only Eagle with two hits going 2-3. Kugler and Loftis each drove home a run. Serra Catholic finishes at 19-2 for the season and only loses Miller and Loftis out of the starting lineup.

Today was the final game in the history of Reading Central Catholic the school closed last week and will merge with cross-town rival Reading Holy Name to form Berks Catholic next season. The Cardinals saw their nine game magical run come to an end. The District 3 champions end the season at 11-14 overall. Jake Lloyd took the loss for the Cardinals he allowed four runs two earned on six hits he struck out three and walked just two.

Reading Central Catholic Cardinals : 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0-3-2
Serra Catholic Eagles : 1 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 3 – 0 – x = 4-6-1

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