Hopewell downs Bisons
EVERETT — Give credit where it’s due.
The Bedford Bisons, champions of District 5 after a mixed bag of a season that included a five-game losing streak the week before the start of the playoffs, played hard until the wheels came off the cart.
Hopewell’s Jake McGovern played a large role in that. The winning pitcher went the distance for the Vikings with 10 strikeouts and two earned runs and also went 2-for-4 at the plate in Hopewell’s 9-3 win over Bedford on Monday in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs.
“We really fought all year to have things to go our way, and there was no quit today. Just if it could go wrong today, it seemed like it was going to go wrong today,” Bedford coach Andy Arnold said. “But I like where our team is. Finishing in the top 16 in the state is nothing to hang your head about. Obviously, it’s not where we wanted to finish the year, but it is what it is.”
McGovern’s two RBIs came as part of a five-run seventh inning in which Hopewell ended any hopes of a rally after Bedford had come back from down 3-0 in the first inning to tie the game in the fifth. The Vikings jumped back out in front for good in the sixth, prompting a pitching change.
Dylan Arnold got the start for Bedford on Monday, and despite having a three-run hole to dig out of early, managed the game well with five strikeouts on 93 pitches through 5 2/3 innings.
It was after Hopewell’s Josh Miklos scored in the sixth to give Hopewell the lead back that Jared Dowey came in to relieve Arnold. Dowey closed out the side with a walk and a strikeout looking, but gave up five runs in the top of the seventh, all unearned, to put the game out of reach.
“We really leaned on Dylan’s pitching,” Arnold said. “That’s the senior leadership that he’s displayed all throughout his career here, especially this year as a senior. We leaned on that to keep it close for us, and he did a heck of a job pitching.”
Arnold also had high praise for McGovern, who he said did a good job of keeping the Bisons on edge at the plate the whole contest.
“(McGovern), he was crafty,” Arnold said. “He kept mixing up pitches on us and kept us off balance at the plate. It just didn’t go the way we wanted it to today. He was mixing speed a lot, up and down, in and out. He did a good job pitching to the umpire. But we’re not going to make excuses that way.”
Arnold said the eight errors committed in the field by the Bisons was the difference between a win and a loss, but he’s high on the future of his program.
“We made too many errors in the field to win this game,” he said. “I think maybe the moment was too big for some of our kids, but the good thing is the majority of these kids are back next year, so we have a lot to look forward to.”
Hopewell coach Mike Shuleski said he was happy with how his team handled the back-and-forth nature of the game.
“We were able to weather the storm, Shuleski said. “That one inning was self-inflicted with a couple of plays, (Bedford) earned guys getting on base, and we allowed them to get a couple of extra bases by making errors, and (McGovern) held the fort for us. That was a huge turning point. The momentum started shifting after we got up early, but Jake stepped up big on the mound for us today.”
Hopewell hits the road again for another long trip on Thursday in the quarterfinals when it takes on District 6 champion Mount Union.
HOPEWELL (9): Miklos 2b 522, Beck c 512, McGovern p 412, Kunzmann cf 511, Slate lf 310, Phillipi 1b 311, LaSala ss 413, Stala DH 400, Palumbo 210, Kerec cr 000. Toals–35-9-11.
BEDFORD (3): Dowey cf-p 300, Semanek c 321, D. Arnold p-cf 411, Cessna 3b 301, J. Arnold 1b 300, Dull DH 300, Gresh rf 300, Swaim ss 200, Hall 2b 300. Totals–27-3-3.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Hopewell 300 001 5 – 9 11 3
Bedford 002 010 0–3 3 8
E–LaSala 2, Gill, Cessna 2, Hall, Swaim 5. 2B–Phillipi, McGovern, Beck. RBI–Miklos, McGovern 2, Kunzmann, Beck, LaSala 2, Cessna 2.
Hopewell–McGovern, 7 IP, 102 pitches, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 10 K, 3 BB.
Bedford–D. Arnold 5ª IP, 93 pitches, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB; Dowey, 1• IP, 47 pitches, 4 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 3 K, 2 BB.
Umpires: Herb Long (home plate, crew chief), John Daily (1B), Bobby Gall (2B), Ron Brown (3B).
Records: Hopewell (18-6); Bedford (12-10).