PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg-Osceola baseball team toppled visiting Blairsville, 11-1, in five innings on Thursday afternoon at the Don Womer Baseball Complex.
Mountie pitcher Mark Curtis struck 11 batters and allowed just three hits in the game. He walked one.
"He came out in the first inning really strong," P-O coach Doug Sankey said. "My dad [volunteer assistant Bo Sankey] said, 'You have to pace yourself a little bit. You can't throw upper 80s the whole game. You aren't going to make it.'
"So I think he settled down, and they started to hit a little bit. But in the last inning he pumped it up a little bit. Usually, he gets better as he goes."
The Mounties jumped on Bobcat pitcher Bobby Thompson early, scoring four runs in the first inning.
Cody Lee had an RBI single, while Matt Carpin knocked in the other three runs on a triple.
"I thought from pregame on we were really focused," Sankey said. "The first inning was huge. Mark set the tone, and then we got the big hit from Carp. That just took the pressure off of us and put the pressure on them."
Curtis allowed just one run in the game, and it came in the top of the second.
Blairsville's Scott Thompson hit a leadoff single and later scored on a two-out single by Nick Holmes to cut the deficit to 4-1.
However, it was all Philipsburg-Osceola from there, as the Mounties scored one run in the third and six more in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the 10-run rule.
Matt Kephart had an RBI double in the third and sixth, while Logan Walstrom added an RBI triple.
P-O picked up a run on an error, while Carpin, Lee and Greenwalt drove in the other three runs to set the final at 11-1.
"I think we were fortunate we played today because our prom is tomorrow," Sankey said. "Everyone else plays tomorrow. Mark can come back Monday, but we aren't going to do that. But, we have him if we need him."
The Mounties (17-4) play the winner of fourth-seeded Ligonier Valley and fifth-seeded Penn Cambria on Monday at home.
BLAIRSVILLE (1): Iezzi cf 301, Ratkus 3b 300, B. Thompson p-1b 300, S. Thompson 1b-p 111, Faulk lf 100, Livingston 2b 200, DiStefano ss 200, Holmes c 201, Palmer rf 100, Scribe ph 100. Totals: 19-1-3.
PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA (11): Marcinko ss 311, Smith c 221, Greenawalt rf 221, Lee dh 321, Harris 2b 000, Curtis p 300, Watson 1b 020, Carpin lf 214, Kephart 3b 312, Walstrom cf 301. Totals: 21-11-8.
Score by Innings
Blairsville010 00X X- 1 3 2
Phil.-Osceola401 6XX X-11 8 1
E-DiStefano 2; Kephart. LOB-Blairsville 5, Philipsburg-Osceola 5. 2B-Kephart 2, Greenawalt. 3B-Iezzi; Carpin, Walstrom. RBI-Holmes, Greenawalt, Lee 2, Carpin 4, Kephart 2, Walstrom. SB-Lee 2, Marcinko. HBP-S. Thompson (by Curtis); Greenawalt (by B. Thompson). WP-B. Thompson.
Blairsville: B. Thompson-3+ IP, 6 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO; S. Thompson-1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
Philipsburg-Osceola: Curtis-5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO.
WP-Curtis (7-0). LP-B. Thompson.