End of the line for LHS Great year concludes in state semis
It started out as a bright and sunny afternoon for baseball, but quickly turned into storm of runs for Pennsbury during Monday’s PIAA 6A semifinal showdown with Liberty.
The Falcons erupted in the top of the third inning for nine runs to douse any hope for the Hurricanes, as Liberty’s memorable season came to a close at Bear Stadium in Boyertown, falling in a five-inning 10-run rule by a final 12-0 score line.
The loss closes out Liberty’s season at 25-3, while the District One champion Falcons (21-6) march to Friday’s PIAA state championship at Penn State against Dallastown.
The third inning, however, is where Monday’s contest was won and lost, as Pennsbury produced 13 batters, eight hits and nine runs, along with the aid of three Liberty errors, to break a 1-0 contest into a flood of offense.
Liberty pitcher Alex Super had to endure the beating on the mound throughout the unforgiving frame, leaving head coach Andy Pitsilos to give all the credit to Pennsbury’s bats.
“They were going to hit anybody out there today,” said Pitsilos. “They hit well and it was very hard to come back from that. We did make mistakes and it did snowball, but our kids are great. It was a great year for this group.”
A great year that finished on a disappointing afternoon, as Pennsbury, who beat Parkland 2-1 in the opening round of the PIAA tournament, looked like the day was theirs from the outset.
Pitcher Billy Bethel struck out three batters and allowed seven hits in five innings of work to continue his torrid end of season run, as he hasn’t given up an earned run since April.
Liberty’s four errors on the day only compounded matters, as Super gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits on a frustrating outing.
After knocking off Governor Mifflin and Frankford in the first two rounds of the PIAA tournament, Pitsilos acknowledged that Monday’s performance wasn’t indicative of this year’s team.
“We just didn’t play up to the way we were playing all year,” he said, “but this doesn’t change anything about how our season’s gone or how I feel about these kids. I thanked them all for the season we had.”
Liberty graduates 13 seniors but should return a formidable arsenal of young talent looking to repeat as district champions.
But Pitsilos also knows that a season like this, is hard to replicate.
“We’ve won the district title before but this has to be my best team,” he said. “This team could do everything, but today we just lost.”