Bishop McCort downs Hornets for 3rd straight title
Call it a dynasty.
Bishop McCort Catholic won its third straight District 6 Class A baseball championship Wednesday by trimming Juniata Valley, 4-1, at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
McCort also won titles in 2009 and 1999, the first year the district finals were held at the home of the Altoona Curve.
“Each team is its own story,” coach Chris Pfeil said. “We want to send our 11 seniors out on a high note because several of them played big roles when we won the state title in 2012. This was just the first goal.”
McCort moves into PIAA state play Monday against the District 10 champion.
Pitcher Brad Coleman and designated hitter Dan Formica shared the hero’s role. Coleman held Valley to only four hits while Formica knocked in all four runs with a pair of singles.
Coleman, whose father passed away, was playing with a heavy heart.
“This is very satisfying because I really miss him,” an emotional Coleman told reporters. “Words can’t explain what it means to have my mother [Diane] here.
“She’s been with me all the way … the support she’s given me. I really don’t have a lot to say.”
Formica gave Coleman all the runs he needed in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Sobecky and Ethan Neiderhiser opened with singles, but Nick Gjurich’s groundout forced Sobecky at third. When Jeremy Adams rolled out to second, Neiderhiser and Gjurich moved to second and third.
Formica popped one into short right field, just out of the reach of second baseman Kordell Collins, scoring pinch runner Logan Wade and Gjurich.
Valley got its run in the top of the fifth when Zack Faubert singled home Zach Grove, who was running for Sam Singer. The Hornets had a chance to tie it in the sixth when Konner Barton doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. But Coleman fanned Jesse Claar and Caleb Taylor to end the threat.
“Coleman was awesome tonight,” Pfeil said. “That’s been his story throughout the playoffs. Every time someone threatens, he comes up with a strikeout to get out of the jam.
“I can’t say enough about his leadership. We wouldn’t be here without him.”
Formica sealed the win with his second, two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth.
“A lot of people think they can cruise when they get to the bottom of the order,” Pfeil said, “but Formica is one of the toughest number 8 outs you’ll see in high school.”
JV coach Bill Peters said he was proud of his team, which moves onto state play Monday against the District 3 champion.
“This hurts, but we have nothing to be ashamed of,” Peters said. “It seemed like when they needed a hit, they got it, and we had a couple opportunities, but couldn’t cash in.”
JUNIATA VALLEY (1): Collins 2b 300, Hensor ss 301, Barton p-cf 301, Grissinger cr 000, Claar rf 200, Taylor cf-p 300, Singer c 301, Grove cr 010, Beam 3b 200, Leydig 1b 300, Faubert lf 201. Totals – 24-1-4.
BISHOP McCORT (4): Trexler cf 301, Coleman 300, N. Neiderhiser rf 200, Sobecky 1b 301, E. Neiderhiser 3b 212, L. Wade pr 010, Gjurich lf 221, Adams 2b 200, Formica dh 302, B. Wade ss 000, Rock c 200, Leech cr 000. Totals – 22-4-7.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Juniata Valley000 010 0-1 4 0
Bishop McCort000 202 X-4 7 0
E-none. 2B-Barton. RBI-Formica 4, Faubert.
JV- Barton (L) 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO, 1 BB
JV – Taylor 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 SO,1 BB
BM – Coleman (W) 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 SO, 1 BB
Umpires – Dave Urbanick (P), Tom Burger (1b), Hank Wilson (2b), Jeff Holter (3b).
Records: Juniata Valley (14-6), Bishop McCort (14-6).