Sorry I can’t make it to State College today for the 2011 PIAA Baseball and Softball Championships. It’s a medical matter, getting better all of the time.
In the meantime, you can click the links below for text updates for baseball and an audio stream for softball provided by PIAA.
BASEBALL TEXT UPDATES
SOFTBALL AUDIO STREAM
In addition, PCN is providing live over-the-air coverage of each baseball championship and pay-per-view live video streaming over the Internet for baseball and softball. Here’s the link for the pay-per-view coverage (at $6.99 a pop): PAY-PER-VIEW
Here is the baseball championship schedule from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at Penn State:
CLASS AAA: Northern York 6, Tunkhannock 3 (Northern York wins school’s first PIAA championship in a team sport)
CLASS A: Serra Catholic 4, Reading Central Catholic 0 (Serra wins handily after state championship losses in 2009 and 2010)
CLASS AA: Ellwood City Riverside 5, Salisbury Twp. 2 (Riverside becomes sixth school to win 3 PIAA baseball titles)
CLASS AAAA: Conestoga 6, Spring-Ford 3, 10 inn. (Conestoga wins first PIAA baseball title, reverse 22-11 District 1-AAAA loss)
Here is the softball championship schedule from Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State:
CLASS AA: Philipsburg-Osceola 1, Brandywine Heights 0 (P-O wins second title in five years)
CLASS AAAA: Hatboro-Horsham 4, Pennsbury 3 (HH scores 3 in the 6th to claim its 2nd PIAA softball title)
CLASS A: Minersville 6, Clarion 1 (Minersville wins 8th PIAA softball title, most in PIAA history)
CLASS AAA: Valley 3, Manheim Central 1 (Valley wins first PIAA softball championship)
In the meantime, here are a few game notes:
CLASS AAA: Northern York vs. Tunkhannock … First appearance in the PIAA Baseball Championship for either school … The game was moved from its scheduled 1 p.m. start time to 10:30 a.m. because of Tunkhannock’s graduation ceremony Friday evening … The first four batters in Northern’s lineup – New York Mets draftee Joe Tuschak, Cody McLaughlin, Jon Mayer and Dylan Tamecki – all have batting averages above .400 … Lefty Vince Apicella of Northern has 121 Ks … Tunkhannock SS Mike Papi is batting .556, just ahead of power-hitting Mike Healey (10 HR, a whopping 50 RBI in just 21 games)
CLASS A: Reading Central Catholic vs. Serra Catholic … Serra is the first school to reach the PIAA baseball finals three straight years. The Eagles lost to Christopher Dock 4-3 in a stunning 7th-inning rally last year and Camp Hill 7-3 in 2009 … The Eagles will start pitcher Alain Girman, who is 23-0 in his high school career. Girman started last year’s championship game and pitched well before yielding to his brother, Oliver … Reading Central Catholic has an unbelievable storyline. Today’s game is the last athletic event in the school’s history; Central Catholic and Reading Holy Name are merging next school year to form Berks Catholic High School … The Cardinals might be the first school to reach the PIAA finals with a losing record at 11-13. They were 2-12 in their first 14 games this season. In fact, the school nearly dropped baseball in 2008 because of lack of participation
CLASS AA: Salisbury Twp. vs. Ellwood City Riverside … Salisbury Twp. is making its first state championship appearance; Riverside is making its third state finals appearance in the last seven years, having won PIAA Class AA titles in 2005 (over Halifax 8-0 with the first no-hitter in PIAA championship game history and 2006 (over Montoursville 7-4) … Salisbury’s Zach Harper will make the start on 3 days rest; he’s 2-0 in the PIAA playoffs. … Riverside can join five other schools – Camp Hill, Chambersburg, Christopher Dock Mennonite, Mount Union and Oley Valley – as three-time PIAA baseball champions with a win. No school has won more than three PIAA baseball championships; the PIAA baseball playoffs did not begin until 1977.
CLASS AAAA: Spring-Ford vs. Conestoga … You can call this a District 1-AAAA rematch if you like, but if it ends up being anything like Spring-Ford’s 22-11 win in the 1-AAAA championship back on June 2, it will be a stunner (and a record-breaker, given the PIAA championship game record for runs in a game is 22; that would be Mount Union’s 14-8 win over Wyomissing in the 1993 AA title game) … This is the second straight year for an all-District 1 Class AAAA final. Last year, Henderson defeated Owen J. Roberts 7-0 in the Class AAAA championship game at Altoona. … Spring-Ford is likely to start senior pitcher Mike Oczypok, who has a 14-0 record and a 0.87 ERA … Spring-Ford is making its second championship game appearance in four years, losing 10-2 to Canon-McMillan in in the 2008 Class AAAA championship game … Conestoga is making its first state championship appearance.
CLASS AA: Brandywine Heights vs. Philipsburg-Osceola … P-O and Brandywine met in the 2007 PIAA Class AA championship game with P-O winning 11-6, the highest-scoring game in PIAA softball championship history … P-O is making is second straight appearance in the finals, losing 3-1 in 11 innings to Nanticoke in 2010, and its third appearance in the last five years … Likewise, Brandywine is making its third appearance in five years, having lost to Bald Eagle Area 2-0 in 2009 as well as P-O in 2007 … P-O and Brandywine Heights also made one other Class AA championship game appearance each, Brandywine in 2005 (losing to Bald Eagle Area 6-0), P-O in 2000 (losing to Valley View 1-0)
CLASS AAAA: Hatboro-Horsham vs. Pennsbury … Like baseball, another all District 1-AAAA final. Hatboro-Horsham squandered a 5-0 lead in the 1-AAAA title game only to win 8-5 in eight innings on three unearned runs … Hatboro-Horsham starts six sophomores … Pennsbury has won five PIAA softball titles – second all-time in state history behind Minersville’s seven – the last coming in 2007 with a 3-2 win over Greater Latrobe … Hatboro-Horsham won its lone PIAA softball championship the following year with a 3-0 over poor Greater Latrobe … This is Hatboro-Horsham’s third appearance (lost to Shaler 3-0 in 2006) and Pennsbury’s seventh; the Falcons are 5-1 in championship games, losing to State College, 2-0, in its initial appearance in 1978
CLASS A: Minersville vs. Clarion … Minersville has been the undisputed champion of PIAA softball champions with a record seven, including the first two Class AA titles in 1979 and 1980 … In fact, the Battlin’ Miners have the distinction of winning the first Class AA and Class A PIAA titles; Minersville won the initial Class A championship in 1999 over Chartiers-Houston, 6-0 … This is Minersville’s record 9th PIAA championship game appearance … Clarion is the lone remaining unbeaten baseball or softball team in the state. The Bobcats are making their first PIAA championship game appearance … Clarion coach Dan Shofestall is 94-37 in his seventh season, but has done an amazing reclamation project. Clarion had won just three games in the previous two seasons when he took over in 2005.
CLASS AAA: Manheim Central vs. Valley … This is the first PIAA championship game appearance for both schools … Manheim Central has just two senior starters, Alexa Campbell and Samantha Ginder, both of whom skipped Manheim Central’s Senior Week in Florida to play in the state championships … Manheim Central has had five one-run victory in 9 postseason games … Valley was the WPIAL Class AA champion a year ago, but was moved up to AAA this year. It won again despite entering the WPIAL tournament with just 11 wins in a season devastated by rainouts.