Marian gains redemption against Tri-Valley
HEGINS - After losing twice to Schuylkill League Division II foe Tri-Valley this season, Marian relished the chance to redeem itself in Tuesday's District 11 Class A quarterfinal rematch.
The fifth seeded Colts took advantage of their chance at redemption, pushing across five runs over the final two innings to upend the Bulldogs 8-5.
Marian, now 15-6, advances to Thursday's semifinals, where it will face top-seeded Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg (15-3) at Northampton in a 4:30 p.m. start.
Fifth seeded Tri-Valley (15-5) defeated the Colts 11-3 in Hometown on April 21 and 5-3 on its home diamond on May 19, and Shane Wert, who won both games, got the call on the mound again.
This was to be the Colts' day, however, as senior righthander Joe Kloap limited the 'Dawgs to four runs over 5 innings before giving way to Ryan Gimbi, who nailed down the save.
"We felt real good coming here," said Marian coach Jeff Nietz. "The first game against them, we didn't play well, and in the second game, we let a lead slip away. We wanted to show them we had to be respected, and we got a total team effort today."
That included the bottom of the line-up. The Colts did some shuffling due to injuries and other circumstances, but Brendan McGowan delivered a key two-run single out of the eight-hole during a three-run sixth. Number nine hitter Justin Petrovich added an RBI single as the Colts put up a three-spot in the second.
"McGowan and Petrovich were the heroes of the game for us," noted Nietz.
Wert's run-scoring grounder gave Tri-Valley a 1-0 lead in the first, but in the second, the Colts moved ahead 3-1 thanks to Petrovich's single, as well two of the 'Dawgs' four errors.
"When you have two teams that are even like this, the team that makes the plays is going to win, and today, we weren't that team," said Tri-Valley coach Bob Felty, Sr.
Singles by Ty Strohecker, Scot Ney and Travis Hinkle in the home second cut it to 3-2, and Hinkle's grounder plated pinch runner Tad Ney, running for Strohecker, who had doubled, to knot things at 3-3 in the fourth.
With one out in the top of the sixth, Damian Gallagher walked and Gimbi singled ahead of McGowan's clutch single up the middle. Kloap singled home McGowan for a 6-3 Marian edge.
Kloap scattered eight hits, striking out one, walking three, and keeping the 'Dawgs from big innings. "He kept the ball down and made some nice pitches when he had to, getting pop ups and ground balls," stated Nietz.
Drew Sherkness and Gimbi each doubled and singled and Kloap and Gallagher both singled twice for the Colts, who have another big road trip Thursday.
"I don't care if we have to go to Jabip as long as we are still playing," said Nietz.
Marian 030 003 2 - 8 10 2
Tri-Valley 110 101 1 - 5 10 4
Kloap, Gimbi (6) and Stawick; Wert, Z. Spickler (7) and Artz. W - Kloap; L - Wert; S - Gimbi.