In a slugfest, visiting Indiana trailed by five runs, but recovered and rallied to score 11 of the game’s final 12 runs to secure the outright section title with a 14-9 win over second-place Derry in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA baseball game Friday at Grandview Field.
Indiana (14-3, 10-2 section) clinched at least a share of the section title with its 13-2 win over Uniontown on Wednesday. Derry (8-6, 7-4) needs a win Monday against Greensburg Salem to guarantee a playoff berth.
“We just battled back,” first-year Indiana coach Rob Stossel said. “They just stayed confident and stayed within themselves, and we kept telling them, ‘Just chip away and eventually we’ll be back in this.’ We chipped pretty good in the end.”
The Indians watched their early 3-0 lead evaporate when the Trojans plated eight runs on seven hits and two errors in the bottom of the third inning.
The resilient Indians chipped away and scored a run in the fourth on two hits and three runs in the fifth on two hits to trim Derry’s lead to 8-7.
In the ensuing two innings, Indiana ran away with the comeback victory, using two hits and an error to score three runs in the sixth, and then using four hits and an error to plate four runs in the seventh.
“That’s just an example of the growth we’ve experienced this year,” Stossel said. “We’ve grown continually from Day One, and hopefully we will continue to grow.
“We want what every team wants at the beginning of the season, and that’s to end the season with a win.”
Trent Ream paced Indiana by going 4-for-4 with an RBI. Zach Schultz finished 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, Ryan Creps went 2-for-5 and had an RBI, and Jordan Hudzicki singled, stole two bases and drove in four runs. Cole Shaffer singled and drove in two runs, and Sean Thompson scored three runs and drove in a run.
Winning pitcher Matt Griffith struck out three and allowed one hit in three innings of relief. Griffith also singled twice and scored a run.
Johnny Panizzi led Derry by going 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. Ryan Maloy singled, tripled and drove in a run, and Cameron Gerhard and Zack Zimmerman each singled and drove in two runs.
Indiana travels to Homer-Center on Wednesday. Derry travels to Greensburg Salem on Monday.
MARION CENTER 14, PENNS MANOR 6: Marion Center racked up a season-high in hits, runs and RBIs and rolled over visiting Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference game.
The Stingers plated four runs in each of the first two innings to jump out to an 8-1 lead. Marion Center then turned a two-run game into a blowout late by plating six runs on six hits and three errors in the sixth to take a 14-6 lead.
Garrett Glasser doubled twice and drove in three runs to lead Marion Center. Hunter Stiteler added three singles, and an RBI, Brodey Thompson tacked on a single, a double and an RBI, and Justin Shank had two singles and two RBIs. Jared Selkirk singled and drove in three runs, C.J. Stiles singled twice, and Justin Tonkin singled and drove in two runs.
Matt Shank struck out nine, walked five and allowed nine hits in a complete-game win. Shank also singled twice and drove in a run.
Luke Kowalski finished 2-for-3 with a three-run homer for Penns Manor. Kasey Jewart singled four times and drove in two runs, and Mitch Hamilton scored a pair of runs.
Marion Center (7-4) plays host to Ligonier Valley today. Penns Manor (5-9) travels to United on Tuesday.