Parkland beats PME in D-11 semifinal
The Parkland baseball team was one win away from making it to their first District 11 Final since 2010 when it took the field on Saturday afternoon at Hackett Park in Easton.
Gabe Mosser made sure the Trojans got that win, leading his team to a 3-0 victory over Pocono Mountain East to advance to the Wednesday's title game at Coca-Cola Park.
Mosser went six innings, allowing just six hits while striking out six, walking four and allowing no runs. Mosser threw big pitches and got some very timely defense to keep the Cardinals at bay.
Right fielder Jordan Jones had the game-winning hit in the top of the first with a two-out single through the right side, plating Chris Robasco and Adam Schneck.
Two runs would be all Mosser needed. The right hander was dominating on this cold, windy afternoon that felt more like an early spring game. Mosser got himself out of jams time and time again thanks to big strikeouts and clutch double plays you will see.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the first, Mosser struck out two straight Cardinals. The next inning finished with an inning-ending double play the air right out of the Cardinals.
"It shows that they can play defense, and it shows that I can rely on them to come up big," said Mosser.
Mosser would rely on them throughout the game, and they would not let him down. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Mosser induced an inning-ending fly ball to right field that would have been routine, but Saturday's wind made every every fly ball more difficult.
Seemingly every time the Cardinals threatened, the Trojans got the outs when it counted most. After a Zach Merkle solo homer in the fifth, East brought runners to second and third with two outs. Mosser escaped with no damage after a lazy line drive to the shortstop.
"Our pitching staff all year has kept us in every game," said head coach Tony Galucy. "Our defense came out again and committed no errors. That is huge."
The biggest play of the game came in the bottom of the sixth.
With runners on first and third and just one out, the Cardinals had their best chance to put runs on the board.
Mosser forced a ground ball to first baseman Tyler Graeff, who threw to second to get the force and try to turn a double play.
The runner beat the throw at first, and Pocono Mountain East thought they had their first run.
However, runner's interference was called on the runner going from first to second. That resulted in the run that scored on the play being disallowed. Inning over. Rally over. Game, essentially, over.
Connor Higgins came in two shut the door in the seventh, and the Trojans had booked their trip to the District 11 title game, slated for Wednesday against top-seeded Whitehall.
Whitehall won the season series 2-1, including a win in the LVC title game.
"We just need to play baseball," said Mosser. "We have our ace on the mound, and we have great defense. We just need to hit the ball and put it in play. We'll produce runs if we do that."