Hollidaysburg’s baseball season comes to an end

By John Enrietto

For the Mirror

SLIPPERY ROCK — Two bad innings can’t ruin a season.

But they can end one.

Hollidaysburg allowed four runs in the first inning and five in the fifth in dropping a 10-6 decision to Cathedral Prep in a PIAA Class 5A sub-regional baseball game Thursday at Slippery Rock University’s Critchfield Park.

“Those were our two worst innings of the year,” Golden Tigers coach Jon Szynal said. “This is a disappointing way to end it.

“But it doesn’t take away from what these kids have accomplished. They had a fantastic season.”

The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Tigers (17-2). With ace hurler Sam Servello unavailable to start the game, Szynal went with senior right-hander Nolan Walters on the mound. But he never got out of the first inning.

The Ramblers (18-3) struck for four runs, keyed by a RBI single by Nick Hess and a two-run single by Hunter Orlando. The latter hit chased Walters.

Brendan Hileman took the hill and induced a double-play grounder to escape further damage.

“Our last (playoff) game got pushed back to Saturday and Sam had to leave that one on pitch count,” Szynal said. “There was no way he could have started this game.

“We’ve got other pitchers. These guys have been picking each other up all year. Today, it didn’t happen. Give Cathedral Prep credit. Those guys can hit the ball.”

Hollidaysburg wound up using four pitchers, including Servello, who pitched the seventh and was nicked for a run. Tyler Treese — who went two singles, a double and a walk in four plate appearances — delivered a run-scoring single for Hollidaysburg in the bottom of the first.

While Hileman was holding Cathedral Prep at bay, the Tigers were stranding runners. They left the bases loaded in the third and 11 runners on for the day.

Two Tiger errors contributed to the Ramblers’ five-run fifth inning that opened up a 9-1 lead. Cathedral Prep had two doubles and a triple in the frame as well.

“We put the bat on the ball, squared up some pitches well,” Cathedral Prep coach David Hess said. “We got the hits when we needed them.”

Nick Hess went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI for the winners.

The Ramblers were able to start their ace in junior right-hander Chris Smith, who entered the game with a 0.91 earned run average. He was chased during a three-run Hollidaysburg fifth.

Smith surrendered nine hits and walked five, throwing 94 pitches.

“Chris didn’t have his best stuff, but he battled,”Hess said. “And Hollidaysburg is one of the best hitting teams we’ve faced.

“They work the count, put together quality at-bats up and down their lineup.”

John Servello had a double, single and scored three runs to go with Treese’s big game in fueling the Tigers’ late surge.

“Our guys fought back. The hole was just too much,” Szynal said. “We threw the ball around defensively more than we have all year.

“We had 10 seniors on this team and six of them started. These guys played a lot of quality baseball.

“They (Ramblers) got the clutch hits and we didn’t. That pretty much tells the story.”

CATHEDRAL PREP (10): Williams ss 420, Oedekoven cf 422, Hess 1b 414, Smith p 311, Douds p 100, Seidel 3b 320, Orlando rf 211, Heidt dh 311, Scutella lf 200, Robison 2b 301. Totals — 29-10-10

HOLLIDAYSBURG (6): Storm ss-p 502, Peterson c 500, J.Servello rf 332, Pugh 3b 412, Treese 1b 313, Stevenson lf 300, Nolan 2b 311, B.Walters dh 301, S.Servello cf 401. Totals — 33-6-12


Cathedral Prep 400 050 1 — 10 10 1

Hollidaysburg 100 032 0 — 6 13 3

E-Williams; J.Servello, Pugh, Nolan. 2B-Hess, Smith, Robison; Storm, J.Servello, Pugh, Treese. 3B-Oedekoven. RBI-Oedekoven, Hess 2, Smith, Orlando 2, Robison 3; Pugh, Treese 2, B.Walters, S.Servello 2. WP-Smith. LP-N.Walters. SO-Smith 4, Douds 2. BB-Smith 5; N.Walters 1, Storm 1, S.Servello 2.

Records: Cathedral Prep 18-3, Hollidaysburg 17-2.