Pleasant Valley knew all about Nazareth and highly-touted Division I recruit Karl Keglovits.
The Bears were impressed, but not intimidated.
Pleasant Valley entered the District 11 Class AAAA quarterfinal game ready to play spoiler and came extremely close to accomplishing goal.
Despite a valiant effort by the Bears, however, Nazareth pulled out the 4-2 win.
"In no way, shape or form, was our team intimidated," Pleasant Valley head coach Karl Rentzheimer said. "It seemed as though we were just a hit away in about five of the seven innings."
In total, the Bears left 11 runners stranded on base during the game and had plenty of opportunities to push across runs. However, it seemed the Blue Eagles had an answer for every threat Pleasant Valley advanced.
After the victors took a 1-0 lead early on, they added two more runs in the bottom of the third. Mike Garzillo had a two-out, solo home run to pick up some momentum. A bloop RBI-single eventually scored the other run in the frame for the 3-0 lead.
But Pleasant Valley wouldn't quit. It managed to start a run of its own in the top of the fifth inning to make things interesting and send their fans into frenzy.
Dan Hrbek delivered an RBI to get the momentum started. Travis Raseley was hit by a pitch and Joey Wiesmith hit a hard liner to short, that got past the Nazareth defender to eventually score Hrbek, cutting the lead to 3-2.
However, Keglovits proved his worth by getting the Bears' Chris Mendoza to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Nazareth head coach Jon Lock said, "I thought that double play was huge. That was at an extremely crucial part of the game and Karl came up big for us.
Garzillo eventually came on to provide some more insurance for the winners as he duplicated his third-inning feat with another solo home run in the bottom of the fifth frame to open up a two-run lead for the Blue Eagles.
Despite some Pleasant Valley threats, Keglovits made that cushion stand up as he finished with nine strike outs.
"You have to tip your hat to Pleasant Valley," Lock said. "They hit the ball and hit it well. Karl (Rentzheimer)'s a great coach and has his kids ready every game."
As the Pleasant Valley season came to a close, coach Rentzheimer had nothing but praise for his seniors who will be leaving the program due to graduation at the end of the year.
"The seniors this year have just been such a classy group of guys to have as part of the program," Rentzheimer said. "Academically and behaviorally, they've just been a pleasure to work with and they're all going to further their education somewhere and I couldn't be more proud of them all."
With the win, Nazareth (20-3) moves on to play Northampton in the District 11 semifinals at 4 p.m. today at Coplay.
Pleasant Valley finishes its season at 13-8.
Pleasant Valley 000 020 0 - 2 6 1
Nazareth 102 010 x - 4 7 0
Hammond and Wiesmith; Keglovits and Pacchioli. W-Keglovits. L-Hammond. HR: N – Garzillo 2 (3rd, none on), (5th, none on).