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La Salle . . . 2014 PIAA Class AAAA State Champs!
On June 13, at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, La Salle beat
Conestoga, 4-2, in eight innings, to claim its second state title in
three years. In the visiting eighth, Brian Buckley broke a 2-2 tie
with a two-run single, enabling Dominic Cuoci to earn the win.
John Scheffey's 1-2-3 bottom half saved it. Cuoci (single) and Jimmy
Herron posted the Explorers' earlier RBI.
The title-game boxscore . . .
|La Salle 4, Conestoga 2 (8 inn.)|
|AJ Grezeszak ss||3||1||0||0||Austin Shirley cf||3||1||1||0|
|Brad Schneider 2b||2||0||0||0||Andrew Marlino rf||0||0||0||0|
|Jimmy Herron cf||3||2||1||1||Ryne Ogren 2b||2||0||0||0|
|Dominic Cuoci p||4||1||2||1||Tommy Richter ss||4||0||2||1|
|Nick Dermo c||3||0||0||0||Andrew Born rf||4||0||1||0|
|Brian Buckley 1b||3||0||2||2||Stephen Born dh||3||1||1||0|
|Eric Burgmann 1b||3||0||1||0||Andrew Turner c||4||0||0||0|
|Ryan Coonahan rf||3||0||1||0||Max Dolente 1b||4||0||2||0|
|Ian McIntosh lf||4||0||1||0||Sam Regan pr||0||0||0||0|
|Adam Arcadia 3b||3||0||0||0||Brandon Ruffenach 3b||4||0||1||1|
|John Scheffey||0||0||0||0||Alec Gagne lf||4||0||0||0|
|Not part of batting order: Little, Conestoga, p; Bufo, Conestoga, p.|
|La Salle||1 0 1||0 0 0||0 2 - 4|
|Conestoga||0 0 0||1 1 0||0 0 - 2|
E: Grezeszak 2, Ruffenach,
Turner. LOB: La Salle 7, Conestoga 10. SB: McIntosh, Arcadia. S:
Coggins 2. SF: Herron.
|Dominic Cuoci (W)||7||8||2||2||2||2|
|John Scheffey (S)||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Brendon Little (L)||7||4||3||2||4||4|
|Little pitched to 1 batter in 8th|
|Balk: Cuoci. HBP: Dermo (by Little). WP: Cuoci, Little.|
Postseason statistics . . . (nine games)
|John Scheffey (2-2, S)||23||21||9||5||7||14||1.52|
|Dominic Cuoci (5-0)||35||35||10||8||3||27||1.60|
The Season's Results (21-6) . . .
|Haverford School||W, 4-3|
|Holy Ghost Prep||L, 12-1|
|SJ Prep||W, 15-2|
|SJ Prep||W, 9-3|
|SJ Prep||L, 14-12|
Selected Photos . . . (provided by parents Dianne Herron and Jim Dougherty; thanks!)
Brad Schneider delivers a hit.
Brian Buckley lines a two-run single in the eighth to provide a 4-2 lead.
Brian Buckley (25) heads for first and Coach Joe Parisi (6) gets excited as
Jimmy Herron (3)
heads home with what turned out to be the winning run.
Centerfielder Jimmy Herron (3) takes a dive into the celebration pile.
The whole crew. Coach Joe Parisi, who announced his retirement five days later, is at top right.
Ted's Website Report . . .
CLASS AAAA FINAL
La Salle 4, Conestoga 2 (8 inn.)
(At Penn State)
Hey, the strategy worked the first time, so why not try it again, right? When a kid's a horse, you ride him. In the 2012 final, coach Joe Parisi started sr. RH Kevin Long on three days' rest and he hurled the Explorers to a 3-1 win over Council Rock South. (In the '12 semi, Long needed seventh inning relief help from soph RH Dominic Cuoci.) Today, on three days' rest, Cuoci got the starting nod and claimed the win (seven innings) while sr. LH John Scheffey provided assistance by going the nice-and-easy, 1-2-3 route in the home eighth. Time for elation! Time for a pile of humanity! This one featured some hairy moments for the 'Splorers down the stretch and there were times when things weren't looking peachy. In the top of the seventh, a squeeze play was botched and second-and-third with one away quickly became only-on-second with two away. A foulout quickly terminated the would-be uprising. Then, in the bottom half, a two-out infield bobble enabled Conestoga to get runners to second and third. An intentional walk was issued and Cuoci enjoyed a big-boy moment by retiring sr. C Andrew Turner on a fly to right. Sigh of relief. On to the eighth! Sr. 2B Brad Schneider drew a four-pitch walk and jr. LH Brendon Little was removed in favor of the staff ace, sr. LH Jake Bufo. Jr. CF Jimmy Herron and Cuoci greeted him with singles to center and left, respectively, to load the bases. Though sr. C Nick Dermo grounded into a short-to-home forceout, jr. 1B Brian Buckley spanked a two-run single to center and La Salle owned a nice cushion heading into the bottom half. Due to the PIAA's pitching restrictions (no more than 14 innings in one calendar week), Cuoci needed to forget the mound and find a new home (at third base). Scheffey strolled in from the bullpen and prevented any hint of drama thanks to two groundouts that sandwiched a whiff. Cuoci allowed eight hits in his stint (three did not leave the infield) and both runs were earned. He walked two, finalizing his season's total at SIX, and struck out two. Meanwhile, La Salle's first two runs were unearned. In the first, a two-out throwing error off Herron's grounder enabled Jimmy to reach second. Cuoci then hammered an RBI single to left. In the third, jr. SS AJ Grezeszak and Schneider started things off by milking walks. A pickoff attempt was made on Grezeszak at second, but the ball clanged off his leg as he was sliding back into the bag and dribbled into shallow right. He and Schneider advanced, thus Herron's flyball to deep left-center (maybe 385 feet, the 410 sign was right behind) became a sac fly. For Conestoga, sr. 3B Brandon Ruffenach (a balk put the runner in scoring position) and sr. SS Tommy Richter (a sac did so this time around) stroked RBI singles in the fourth and fifth, respectively. Buckley enjoyed making strong contributions overall. Aside from going 2-for-3 with a walk and the two RBI, he prevented two errors thanks to the scoop of a low toss and a snag/sweep tag off a high, off-target throw. Cuoci finished 2-for-4 with the RBI. Herron scored twice while adding the sac fly. As in '12, the Explorers showed great resolve in the AAAA tourney after falling short in their effort to win the CL championship. The 2012 disappointment was even tougher, I'm guessing, because La Salle lost the final, 5-4, to Neumann-Goretti, in eight innings. I watched this game on PCN after shelling out $7.95, plus tax, for a one-day subscription (ha ha). The broadcast was high quality. Unfortunately, my computer is ancient and there were hiccups every 4-5 seconds THROUGHOUT the game. Talk . . . about . . . frustrating. Luckily, the sound wasn't affected, so it was almost like "watching" a radio broadcast. Anyway, congrats to the Explorers! Lots of great kids and coaches and the good vibrations given off by all were never-ending.