Baseball team's magical run ends in state semifinal
It had only happened one other time this season, but this one ended the year for Parkland.
The Trojans had gotten the better of 27 out of 28 opponents heading into the PIAA Class AAAA semifinal game on June 9. But they came up short for just the second time, ending their season.
Wyoming Valley West got a solid outing from starting pitcher Bill Gregory, who shut down Parkland's bats in a 5-1 at Pine Grove's Stump Stadium.
"You've got to give them credit," said head coach Tony Galucy. "They got the big hits when they needed to, and they weren't cheap ones. They hit the ball hard. If you're going to go down, hey, I'd rather have the other team win the game like that."
The Spartans came up with big hits in clutch situations, scoring three runs in the first three innings when there were two outs in each inning.
The first run of the game was tallied in the second inning by Wyoming Valley West. Tyler Yankosky hit an RBI double off the right field fence to take the lead, and his team never gave it back.
In the third, the Spartans gained more ground on the Trojans. Ryan Hogan ripped a double, and that was followed up by a two-run homerun to left field by Justin Vought.
It was disappointing for starting pitcher Rhett Jacoby, who was one out, one strike, away from preventing both of these RBI hits.
"They're a really good hitting team, I'll give them that," said Jacoby. "They were looking for my curve ball a lot. A lot of their hits were off my off-speed stuff. The fastball I was able to get them to roll over, pop up, and get some good things. The wind didn't really help us out too much either. It was blowing out."
Gregory, on the other hand, stymied Parkland's offense. For the first six innings, he allowed just three hits, only one through the first four.
The Trojans got on the board in the top of the seventh inning. One out away from defeat, pinch-hitter Harrison Rabenold singled. After advancing to second on defensive indifference, Rabenold raced home on an RBI single by Jeff Strisovsky.
The Trojans put two runners on with the tying run on deck. But Gregory got Justin Afflerbach to ground out to end the game.
"It's real disappointing," said Jacoby. "It's heartbreaking."