PHILIPSBURG- Nittany Oil/Minit-Mart's Brandon Myers knew he would see offspeed pitches from Johnston Realty's Mark Curtis.
In his second at-bat, Myers saw four straight sliders, but when Curtis pitched Myers a fastball, Myers took advantage of it.
"I just sat in and looked for a slider and, fortunately, I got a fastball in," Myers said. "I just got my hands through and gave it a ride."
Myers drove that fastball over the right-field fence for a grand slam which led Nittany Oil/Minit-Mart past Johnston Realty, 6-1, at Philipsburg-Osceola High School Saturday afternoon , clinching a spot in the Altoona AAABA finals.
"That was the difference," Johnston Realty manager Mel Curtis said. "It basically came down to a one-pitch game. Take that away, we are in a 2-1 ball game. But, hey, that's baseball. It was just the wrong pitch at the wrong time."
The grand slam capped off Myers' 3-for-4 day. Myers also scored twice.
"Brandon has been one of my top three hitters all year long," Nittany Oil/Minit-Mart manager Joe Faretta said. "Obviously, he has been a stable, good, solid swing. He was looking fastball, and that is what he got. He was going against a very quality pitcher in Mark Curtis. [Brandon] just hit the right pitch."
Nittany Oil's Austin Mock went 4-for-4 and drove in a run.
Despite giving up seven hits, Nittany Oil's Tim Scholly earned the win. Scholly only struck out two but forced eight flyouts.
"Tim Scholly has been a gamer for me," Faretta said. "He has been with me for four years now. He pitched for me in Johnstown last year and got us a win against Michigan. The kid wants the ball, and I wasn't going to not give him the ball today. He just came out and gave it everything he had.
"Then with [Mike] Finlan in the back end, we didn't even have to go to our closer. Those two just gutted it out and pitched a nice game against a very good hitting team."
Scholly pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning. After Finlan came in in the fifth inning, Johnston Realty only had one baserunner.
"Basically everything we hit, we hit right at him," Mel Curtis said. "We weren't hitting the gaps today, which hurt us. We have been like that for the last five games. We hit right at people. We just can't place the ball in the gaps."
Nittany Oil will now play Red Bull, which was last year's champs, in the final beginning today at Juniata at 5:30 p.m.
"They are a very good team, and we are a very good team," Faretta said. "It is going to be a battle. We are coming tomorrow with Trey Stover on the mound. We are going to do our best to execute and play Nittany Oil baseball."
NITTANY OIL/MINIT-MART (6): Doran cf 400, T. Stover lf-3b 310, Myers rf 423, Barefoot rf 000, Mock ss 404, Taylor 302, Hill c 311, Faretta 2b 211, Peterson 3b 201, Henderson lf 100, C. Stover lf 100, Walker dh 401, Scholly p 000, M. Finlan p 000. Totals - 31-6-12.
JOHNSTON REALTY (1): Marcinko ss 311, Weibley cf 401, Pennington lf-2b 301, Lombardo rf 301, Guzic rf 000, Costa c 301, Watson 1b 301, Ickes 3b-2b 200, Pepperday 2b 000, Sinisi 2b-3b 302, Belinda dh 300, Curtis p 000, Speigel p 000. Totals -27-1-8 .
SCORE BY INNINGS
Nittany/Minit-Mart150 000 0-6 12 1
Johnston Realty100 000 0-1 8 1
E-Ickes, T. Stover. 2B-Taylor, Lombardo, Pennington. 3B-Mock. HR-Myers. RBI-Myers 4, Mock, Faretta, Lombardo. WP-Scholly. LP-Curtis. SO-Scholly 2, Curtis 4, Speigel 6, M. Finlan 2. BB-Scholly 2, Curtis 2, Speigel 3.
Series: Nittany Oil/Minit-Mart wins, 2-0.