PM East eliminates Pleasant Valley
For the second time in just over a week, Pocono Mountain East defeated Pleasant Valley.
This time, though, the game carried a little more weight.
The Cardinals rolled to a 12-2 win in the District 11 Class AAAA quarterfinal. They will now face Parkland in the semifinals on Friday night at Hackett Park in Easton.
Last week, Pocono Mountain East defeated Pleasant Valley 6-3 in the semifinals of the Mountain Valley Conference baseball tournament on its way to the program's first ever MVC baseball title.
That momentum carried over into this game, as PM East jumped on Pleasant Valley early, with two runs in the first off Bears' starter Dylan Pasnak.
Pleasant Valley would answer in the second with two runs to even the score, but the Cardinals came right back with a run in the bottom half to retake the lead at 3-2.
PM East opened it up in the third, as Tom Neuweiler hit an RBI single, Zach Werbell followed with a single and Evan Fardella smacked an RBI single to ignite a three-run inning that would ultimately chase Pasnak from the game. The rout was on from there, as PM East scored another six runs in the fourth to put the game away.
Pleasant Valley had chances to score runs throughout the contest, loading the bases on multiple occasions, but the Bears' were stifled by Cardinals' starter Zach Sheranko, who went the distance for the win.
"Their pitcher (Sheranko), I want to give him credit, because as usual, he battled," Pleasant Valley coach Charlie Inserra said. "But honestly speaking, we had some bad luck offensively.
"We had the bases loaded and hit a ball right over the second base bag and the short stop was standing right there. Same thing in the last inning when we were trying to keep the game alive."
For Inserra, those scoring opportunities were too little, too late.
"We did not do enough offensively, especially in the first inning," said Inserra. "I thought we had an opportunity to jump out on top, which is huge for us, but we didn't.
"It was a combination of just not being our day all around and a little bit of bad luck. But it just wasn't our day and we didn't do enough to win."
PM East's offense certainly did plenty, as the Cardinals pounded out 13 hits in the win. But even in a convincing victory, PM East coach Matt Loringer knew his team had to be prepared for a battle.
"This is the fourth time we've played Pleasant Valley and the other three times it's been close," Loringer said. "We knew that coming into it and we knew that they're a very good team.
"But our guys are playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of energy right now. I like where they're at."
And where they're going is to the program's second consecutive district semifinal as one of the hottest teams left in the tournament.
"We're very excited," Loringer said. "We're playing the best baseball we've played all year right now and we're playing with a lot of energy and passion; I just love the way we are playing baseball right now."
Pleasant Vy 020 00 - 2 6 3
PM East 213 6x - 12 13 1
Pasnak, Stevens (3), Caffrey (4) and Shank; Sheranko and Brandes. W - Sheranko. L - Pasnak.