District 3 champion Red Land will play for his second straight PIAA 5A state baseball title on Thursday at Penn State’s Medlar Field in Lubrano Park. The first pitch against WPIAL representative Bethel Park is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Below is a more in-depth look at the Patriots and Black Hawks, with some projected entries and notes worth knowing. Tickets cannot be purchased online on the PIAA website.
BETHEL PARK – Projected entrances
|18||P||Eric Chalus Jr.||.400|
THE BLACK HAWKS (21-4): Coach Pat Zehnder saw his team beat District 6 champion Central Mountain 1-0 in 9 innings on Monday to advance to the championship round. The difference was Kessler’s triple which turned into the only run of the game via a Central Mountain pitch error at the home of the Altoona Curve.
Thus, the WPIAL finalist is back in the final for the first time since 2003, when he lost to West Chester East in the 3A ender at Riverside Stadium in Harrisburg.
It’s a safe bet that Kent State pitcher Eric Chalus Jr. will be called up on Thursday. All Chalus has done this season is a 10-0 record with an anemic 0.85 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 66 innings. The left-hander has allowed 2 walks all season. With Monday’s winner, sophomore Evan Holewinski (6-1, 0.50 ERA, 42 SO), ineligible to launch Thursday, Zehnder can turn to Geddes (1-0) or Nathan Vargo (2-3). . Holewinski won the opener against Northern.
Only 37 of Bethel Park’s 178 hits this year have one for extra goals, but Knights hitters 2-4 combined for 72 RBIs. Kessler leads the team with 26 points, 27 RBIs and 10 stolen goals.
TERRE ROUGE – Projected entrances
THE PATRIOTS (25-4): Nate Ebbert’s side are back in the Championship round after winning the 2019 5A title with an 8-3 clip over Lampeter-Strasburg at Medlar Field. It was Red Land’s first title since 1990, but the Patriots entered Thursday’s clash with a 7-game winning streak at the PIAA.
While Montgomery, a Virginia signing and likely an MLB first-round pick next month, and Wagner, another potential draft pick and potential University of Georgia rookie, demand the utmost attention, all of the ends of the Patriots’ roster sparked the return trip. .
This is Red Land’s greatest force, and it allowed the Pats to beat PIAA enemies Marple Newtown, Archbishop Wood and Manheim Central by a combined score of 19-3.
Peifer, Thursday’s likely starter, hit the Vikings in the quarterfinal and is 8-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings. Another outstanding option is Christian Lubic (0.74 ERA), also 8-1 over the season. Montgomery, who has 7 homers, leads the Patriots with 44 points scored. Wagner has the 31 best RBIs per tag team, with Peifer second at 27. The Patriots are hitting 0.319.
HEART STROKE : A victory for Red Land would give Nate Ebbert, coach of his 13th season, the No. 199 victory.… The Patriots are 15-5 all-time in PIAA games. … Wagner, Phillips, Peifer and Kolmansberger were part of the 2015 Red Land Little League U.S. Championship team. … Bethel Park, which is in its 11th state tournament, has a record from 19-9.
Follow Eric Epler on Twitter – @threejacker