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No Quit in Them: Defending Champion DCC Rallies to Beat Greenwood Move Back in to PIAA 1A Semifinals Powered by N. Washington Rodeo

DCC's bench reacts to Blake Pisarcik's go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth. Photo courtesy of DCC baseball.

ALTOONA, Pa. – When you are a champion, you are a champion until someone takes it from you.

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Facing an early 5-0 deficit and a late 7-3 deficit, defending PIAA Class 1A champion DuBois Central Catholic never blinked scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stun District 3 champion Greenwood, 9-7, at Vets Field in Altoona.

“It is always the mentality that these kids are never out of it,” DCC manager Adam Fox told the YDL Sports Network in a phone interview after the game. “If they have an out left, they are going to keep fighting. They are used to these moments. They have lived these moments and know what it takes. They are smart kids, and they stay together. Unity is the reason we won. Unity is the reason we can come back in games, bounce back from tough losses. They don’t panic. They just continue to play the game, and if they do they will be in the game. Teams don’t handle pressure. When you can put more pressure on opposing teams, you are going to have success.”

The Cardinals, the District 9 runner-up, found themselves down 5-0 before they came to the plate.

“They forced us to play a game we are not used to playing,” Fox said. “They played small ball, and we didn’t make the plays. They kept getting guts on third because we would miss a cut or wouldn’t recover on a bunt. They are a well-coached team and took advantage.”

Freshman Carter Himes got the start for DCC and allowed the five first-inning runs before settling down and going 3 ⅓ innings giving up six runs on 10 hits while striking out two.

“That first inning on Himes,” Fox said. “He wasn’t throwing bad, in fact, he was throwing well. We didn’t make plays behind him.”

Brayden Fox came on in relief in the fourth inning and allowed an inherited run to score on a grounder before going 3 ⅔ innings allowing one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out two.

“With our backs against the wall, Himes settled down and Bray was lights out,” Adam Fox said. “Himes came back and had two solid innings. And it was, I think, Bray’s best outing of the year. Overall, we just played good team baseball.”

The pitching duo kept the game in sight for DCC, and the Cardinals walked through the door in the sixth inning scoring six times to take control of the game with a 9-7 lead.


“The sixth inning, we just tore it up,” Adam Fox said. “It was pretty good. We were just waiting to bust open. We were having good at-bats, but they were smart and had their guy on the mound.”

Carter Kosko started the rally with a leadoff double, and Andrew Green followed with a double to make it 7-4.

“Andrew Green’s hit was huge,” Adam Fox said.

After Aiden Snowberger flew out, Matt Pyne came up with a single to score Green to make it 7-5.

“Piney was 0-for-3 going into that last at-bat and just grinded one out to score Green,” Adam Fox said.

What Pyne did next might have saved the season for the Cardinals.

Brayden Fox hit a rocket that ricocheted off Greenwood second baseman Gavin Fegley. But the Wildcats still had a chance to get Pyne at second. The speedy senior centerfielder, however, beat the rap at the bag to keep the train rolling.

“That was a rocket that hit off that kid’s neck (area),” Adam Fox said. “Matt beating it out was probably the biggest part of that play.”

Hickman followed with an infield hit with Pyne flying home to score from second to make it 7-6.

That was it for Greenwood starter Sam Myers, who DCC touched for eight runs, seven earned, on 13 hits and a walk while striking out four times.


“Myers is probably one of the best high school pitchers we have seen,” Adam Fox said. “He was smart, he was experienced, he threw three pitches for strikes and used both sides of the plate. He would throw offspeed in hitter’s counts and commanded the zone. We beat and grinded out a very, very good high school pitcher tonight. It was just a matter of getting to him late. He was getting tired and leaving the ball out, and our guys just hit some strikes.”

Gage Wirth replaced Myers and immediately walked Brezinksi to load the bases.

With Pisarcik at the plate, a wild pitch scored Fox with the tying run, and then Pisarick ripped a double to left to give DCC its first and only lead of the game.

Blake Pisarick finishes his swing on the go-ahead double in the sixth inning. Photo courtesy of DCC baseball.

“Blake Piarcik has shown up in these playoffs,” Adam Fox said. “He has had an unbelievable playoffs.”

Blake Pisarcik reacts to his go-ahead double in the sixth. Photo courtesy of DCC Baseball

Pitching with the lead for the first time, Brayden Fox quickly shut down Greenwood in the seventh on 10 pitches getting a strikeout, a ground out, and a flyout.

“We are banged up, but we are hanging on,” Adam Fox said.

DCC really started its rally early in the game when the Cardinals scored one in the second and two more in the third to get back within two, 5-3, after the early five-run deficit.

Himes tripled home Kaden Brezinski in the second and Brezinski and Blake Pisarcik both singled home runs in the third.

“At that point, you are a walk and a homer away,” Adam Fox said. “The way these kids are running into the ball right now, that is a reality.”

Greenwood, though, got two of those runs back with a solo run in the fourth and another in the sixth to go back ahead, 7-3.

“When they got the seventh run, I was like oh shoot it’s getting late,” Adam Fox said.

DCC will face Dock Mennonite, the District 1 champion, in the semifinals Monday, June 12, at a time and place to be determined. Dock Mennonite, managed by former major league catcher Erik Kratz, beat Northern Bradford, 11-2.

“It is all on the kids, us getting this far,” Adam Fox said. “It is just their grit and unity. They expect to be here. They expect to win. The expect to play good, and they expect to overcome tough situations. As a coach, you are super excited for them. My job is to just put them in position to succeed. They know how to win nd how to play. At this level, everybody is really good. You have to play like there is no tomorrow. (Dock Mennonite) is another really good team. But we are going to be ready. It is always going to be about us and how we play. If we trust the game plan, trust the approach, and trust each other these kids are always going to have a shot.”’

NOTES: Hickman recorded his 100th career hit in the game. Those came in three seasons as his freshman year was canceled because of the pandemic … Ben Gritzer, who hadn’t played since April 25 because of a broken thumb, was able to pinch run in the game.


Ben Gritzer was able to get in the game as a pinch runner. It was Gritzer’s first appearance since breaking his thumb April 25 against Johnsonburg. Photo courtesy of DCC baseball.


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