DUBOIS, Pa. – With the game on the line, Redbank Valley’s Ty Carrier went with what had been working for him all game long, and it produced a 3-1 Bulldogs win over two-time defending champion Johnsonburg in the District 9 Class 2A semifinals at Showers Field in DuBois.
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Also see the District 9 Class 1A semifinal recaps
With the tying run at second and two outs, Carrier threw four offspeed pitches to Kaden Dennis to get the count to 2-2. Then, with his 103rd pitch of the day, he threw another offspeed pitch and got Dennis to hit a two-hopper to third baseman Breckin Minich to send the Bulldogs to the D9 title game at noon Monday, May 29, against Karns City.
“I knew (Dennis) was a very good hitter,” Carrier said. “I was just going to give him offspeed. And I probably gave him three offspeed pitches, and he finally rolled over.”
Carrier, who allowed one earned run on nine hits and two walks while striking out four, was able to get the complete-game win thanks to a great defensive play one batter earlier.
With runners on first and second and one out, Luke Zimmerman riffled a single through the right side into rightfield.
Cam Larkin, the runner at second, never stopped at third, and he was out at the plate when rightfield Jaxon Huffman hit cutoff man Braylon Wagner who tossed home to catcher Tate Minich.
“That was amazing,” Carrier said. “I just had a feeling he would throw him out. I was behind the plate (backing up), and I was like cut this and he is going to be hosed at home. It was just a great play.”
For the first five innings, Johnsonburg couldn’t get anything off of Carrier with the Bulldog righty allowing just four hits in the first five innings.
“My curveball was definitely by No. 1 pitch today,” Carrier said. “My fastball was working earlier. But later in the game, it wasn’t working, so I went to the curveball more often. We then mixed in my changeup, which was also working really well today.”
The Rams finally broke through in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Erik Panebianco, but Johnsonburg stranded a runner at third with one out when Derek Beimel grounded back to the mound and Kayden Danekas struck out.
Then in the seventh, Nick Myers led off with a single before Larkin grounded into a fielder’s choice with pinch runner Rocco Delhunty out at second. Aiden Zimmerman followed with a blistering single up the middle bringing up Luke Zimmerman, whose single ended in the key out.
Luke Zimmerman threw a gem for Johnsonburg allowing just three hits, only one after the first inning and none after a two-out single in the fourth. He struck out three and walked three.
But two of those walks came in the first inning, and Redbank Valley made him pay.
Both run-producing hits came with two outs, as Mason Clouse tripled home Tate Minich and Tyler Hetrick, who had both walked.
Carrier then followed with a bloop hit to right to give Redbank Valley a 3-0 lead.
“I was just hoping it got down,” Carrier said. “I was just like praying, get down, get down, get down. It found a way to get down.”
Watch Carrier’s full postgame interview after he was named the Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game.
KARNS CITY 11, PORT ALLEGANY 0
BROCKWAY, Pa. – In a game that was a lot closer than the final score indicated, Karns City used a nine-run seventh inning to beat Port Allegany, 11-0.
The Gremlins nursed a 1-0 lead from the first inning until the sixth when they scored another run to take a 2-0 lead.
But in the seventh, Karns City sent 13 men to the plate and used six hits, including two triples, a hit batter, and three Port Allegany errors to score the nine runs.
Mallick Metcalfe and Troy Nagel each had run-producing triples, with Nagel’s being a two-run three-bagger.
Metcalfe’s pitching was a big reason Karns City was able to nurse the 1-0 lead for so long.
He tossed a three-hit shutout while striking out nine.
Metcalfe also drove in two runs going 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
He scored the game’s first run on a Braden Gross single in the first.
Karns City picked up its second run on a two-out single by Mason Sherwin.
Grossman, Jacob Callihan, and Mason Sherwin each had two hits for Karns City with Grossman going 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, Callihan going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, and Sherwin going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.
Nagel also had two RBIs going 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Jacob Jones scored twice going 1-for-5.
Drew Evens took the loss going six-plus innings allowing seven runs, four earned, on nine hits, two hit batters, and a walk while striking out three. He allowed just two runs through the first six innings. Nick Wilfong then gave up four runs, two earned, on three hits while striking out one in an inning of work.
Evens had a double for the Gators going 1-for-3 while Aiden Bliss and Blaine Moses each had singles.