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Pitch perfect

Central hurlers big reason for championship

Central Pitcher Dylan Focht delivers a pitch against Altoona in the title game.

Central gave up two runs in the first inning of its Curve Classic opening-round game against Juniata Valley and one run in the final inning of the championship game against Altoona.

In between, nothing but zeros.

The Central pitchers threw strikes, and the defense made nearly all the plays in the field. Throw in some timely hitting, and it all adds up to the school’s second tournament title in three years and third overall.

After Jason Ferry no-hit Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic for an 8-0 semifinal win earlier in the day, tournament MVP Dylan Focht one-hit the Mountain Lions for six innings, helping the Scarlet Dragons to a 7-1 finals win Sunday at PNG Field.

“We have a big league game (Monday), but Dylan said he wanted the ball when I asked him,” Central coach A.J. Hoenstine said. “We tell our pitchers to throw strikes, and if we can play good defense behind them, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Altoona’s Cody Becker set down the Scarlet Dragons in order the first two innings before Central broke open the game with a six-run third.

The number seven, eight and nine hitters all reached base to start the inning.

After designated hitter Jordan Bowman worked a leadoff walk, Lleyton Kling doubled him home for a 1-0 lead.

Nine-hitter Thad Albright followed with a bunt that hugged the third base line and stayed fair for a single. That put runners on first and third with no outs for the top of the order.

“These guys understand their role on the team. They’ll do whatever needs done,” Hoenstine said. “They don’t care about stats or where they hit in the order.”

Leadoff hitter Paxton Kling singled, scoring brother Lleyton, then Hunter Klotz hit a deep fly ball to left that was dropped, loading the bases.

Casey Walters doubled the lead to 4-0 with a two-run single to center. The final two runs scored on a wild pitch followed by an errant throw to the pitcher covering the plate.

“Anything that could go wrong that inning, it did. You can’t do that against a good team,” Altoona coach Tom Smith said. “The credit goes to them and their pitcher. We really didn’t do anything. We weren’t threatening at all. He hit his spots. They called a great game, played a great game.”

Altoona entered the game off back-to-back shutouts against Bellwood-Antis in the tournament opener Thursday and Hollidaysburg in the first semifinal game Sunday morning.

When Becker held Central scoreless the first two innings, Altoona had a streak of 16 scoreless innings going.

“Baseball’s a humbling game. We’re flying high with two shutouts. We try to tell them you’re only as good as your last inning, and we had one bad inning,” Smith said.

Central tacked on another run in the fifth. Klotz reached on another dropped fly ball. Courtesy runner Jason Ferry scored when Walters singled, giving him three RBIs for the game.

“It’s nice to come back here and win it my senior year, but we couldn’t do it without great teammates like we have this year,” Focht said. “The pitchers throw strikes. We have a defense that doesn’t make very many errors, and when we do, we bounce back from them.”

Matt Hartman helped Altoona get to the finals with a two-hit shutout of Hollidaysburg in the semifinals. Adam Sinisi went 3-for-4 and Marcus Day was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the 4-0 victory.

CENTRAL (7): P. Kling ss 411, Klotz c 400, Ferry cr 020, Boyles 1b-p 300, Walters cf 312, Focht p-1b 200, Muthler 2b 300, Eberlin 3b 000, Bowman dh 210, L. Kling 311, Albright 311. Totals — 27 7 5.

ALTOONA (1): Kravetz lf 200, Boslet lf 200, Hartman ss 200, Yon 1b 301, Hunter c 200, Day rf-cf 300, Sinisi 3b 311, Becker p-cf 200, Baney rf 101, Criswell cf 000, Bardelang p 000, Moyer dh 100, DeRubeis 2b 100. Totals — 22 1 3.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Central 006 010 0–7 5 0

Altoona 000 000 1–1 3 3

E–Hunter, Kravetz 2. 2B–L. Kling, Sinisi. RBI–L. Kling, P. Kling, Walters 3, DeRubeis. WP–Focht. LP–Becker. SO–Focht 3, Bardelang 3. BB–Focht 3, Boyles 1, Becker 1.

Records: Central (7-1); Altoona (3-3).

SEMIFINALS

CENTRAL 8, B.GUILFOYLE 0

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (8): Carrieri ss 300, Dombroski 2b-3b 200, Reighard cf 200, Potopa c 300, McCall lf-p 200, Simanski rf 100, Lewis p-lf-2b 300, Swineford 1b 100, Homan rf-p 200, Boston 3b 000, Pulcinello lf 000, Neumeyer dh 200. Totals — 21-0-0.

CENTRAL (8): P. Kling ss 421, Ebersole ph 100, Klotz c 201, Eberlin cr 010, Boyles 3b-1b 411, Walters cf 411, Helsel cf 000, Focht 1b 200, Eberlin 3b 000, Muthler 2b 400, Bowman dh 211, Ferry p 000, L. Kling rf 110, Ebersole ph 100, Albright lf 210, Hall ph 100. Totals — 28-8-5.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Bishop Guilfoyle 000 000 0 — 0 0 5

Central 004 040 X — 8 5 0

2B–Klotz, Bowman. RBI–Kling, Klotz 2, Walters, Bowman 2, L. Kling. WP–Ferry. LP–Lewis. SO–Lewis 4, Homan 2, Ferry 2. BB–Ferry 3, McCall 2, McCall 3, Homan 1.

ALTOONA 4, HOLLIDAYSBURG 0

ALTOONA (4): Kravetz 310, Hartman p 310, Yon 1b 401, Hunter c 300, Day ss 312, Sinisi 3b 413, Becker 2b 200, Criswell cf 300, Boslet rf 300. Totals — 28-4-6.

HOLLIDAYSBURG (0): Grassi cf 200, Servello 300, Gampe p 301, Hibbs p 000, Chaney cr 000, Margroum c 300, Faber 1b 300, Martellacci rf 300, Miller 2b 301, Mierley 3b 300, Helsel lf 200. Totals — 25-0-2.

SCORE BY INNINGS

Altoona 021 000 1 — 4 6 2

Hollidaysburg 000 000 0–0 2 2

2B–Yon. RBI–Yon, Day. WP–Hartman. LP–Gampe. SO–Gampe 9, Hartman 4. BB–Gampe 2, Hibbs 1, Hartman 1.

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