It was one year ago when Somerset knocked off the Hollidaysburg baseball team in the District 6 Class AAA semifinals, preventing the Golden Tigers from a trip to the championship.
New year, same opponent, different result.
The second-seeded Golden Tigers capitalized on four Golden Eagle errors en route to a 3-1 victory in the District 6 Class AAA championship Thursday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Tigers pitcher Brett Hileman (7) gets a big hug from catcher Reid Miller after the final out Thursday afternoon at PNG?Field.
Hollidaysburg coach Jon Syznal credited his team's work ethic in the win.
"[We were] working ahead and we got a couple of runs," he said. "We got tired at the end, made the right switch at the end and it all worked for us."
The Golden Tigers (14-8) scored first in the top of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Tanner Claar smacked a single and scored on a throwing error by pitcher Ian Stiffler for a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Tigers cashed in on two more errors. With one out, Tiger catcher Reid Miller belted a double. Brian Urban, running for Miller, then scored on a throwing error by Stull to give the Golden Tigers a two-run cushion.
Urban scored again, this one on a wild pitch, as the Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the sixth.
Somerset coach Steve Costea, whose team finished the year at 15-4, knew defense was the reason for the downfall of his ballclub.
"There are no excuses," he said. "When you make more errors than you have hits, you don't deserve to win."
The Eagles did manage to muster a run on an RBI double by Stull, which scored Alex Dirienzo in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 3-1.
But for most of the day, Tiger starting pitcher Dom Viduya was the unsung hero. In the win, the southpaw pitched six innings, giving up just one run on two hits. Having already played at PNG Field earlier this season was a part of why Viduya thought his team was successful on Thursday.
"I think that it helped out that we played in the Curve Classic," he said. "It made it feel like a routine."
Viduya struck out four and walked two while flirting with a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
"He had a great performance. He got ahead of the batters, he was changing speeds and he was pretty much able to throw all his pitches for strikes," Syznal said. "He kept them off balance. The ball moved enough that they weren't able to get a lot of hits off him."
Szynal, who watched Brett Hileman get the save in the seventh with the help of a double play and a strikeout to end it, couldn't have been happier with how his team kept to their goals.
"You never know when you're going back," he said. "The last one was [Class] AAAA and this one is [Class] AAA so it does make it special. For the kids, every one is special and for the coaches they worked so hard to get to this goal and they reached it [today]."
Miller and Hileman each had two hits for the Tigers, who will now play the No. 3 seed out of District 3 on June 4 at a site and time to be determined.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (3): Claar cf 311, Burger 3b 300, Hileman ss-p 302, Viduya p 000, Urban cr-ss 020, Crum dh 200, Sell ph 100, Storm 2b 400, Ford 1b 200, Miller c 212, Russell lf 300, Gallagher 300. Totals - 26-3-5.
SOMERSET (1): Stull c 301, Stiffler p 300, Brewer p 000, Hemminger 3b 300, Sleek 1b 201, Beeman pr 000, Barron rf 300, Blough lf 300, R. Dirienzo 2b 000, Costea dh 200, Flyte cf 200, A. Dirienzo ss 110. Totals - 22-1-2.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Hollidaysburg101 101 0-3 5 0
Somerset000 000 0-1 2 4
E-Stiffler, Stull 2, A. Dirienzo. 2B-Hileman 2, R. Miller. RBI-Stull.
Umpires: Home - Stan Risser; First - Tracy Cornelius; Second - Bob Weld; Third - Dave Mease
Records: Hollidaysburg (14-8); Somerset (15-4).