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BROCKWAY - The Serra Catholic Eagles ended the Elk County Catholic Crusader season Monday in the first round of the PIAA Class A tournament by an 11-5 score.
The game was played at the Brockway Area High School field.
The Eagles took advantage of a four-run first inning and a five-run sixth inning to record the victory. The Crusaders rallied for three runs in the home half of the seventh, but it was a little too late.
â€śWe had a rough start and couldnâ€™t recover,â€ť said ECCHS coach Father Eric Vogt. â€śThey (Serra Catholic) have a lot of playoff experience. â€śHis (Serraâ€™s Chris Miller) curveball was nasty. He kept us off-balance all day.
â€śOur kids played hard today, they played hard all season. We graduate nine seniors, so weâ€™ll be young next year. I wish the seniors good luck.â€ť
Jack Herzing started on the mound for the Crusaders and worked 1/3 of an inning, giving up three hits and three walks. Ben Daghir worked 6 2/3 innings of relief, giving up 12 hits, walking two and striking out six.
Chris Miller went the distance for the Eagles, giving up four hits, walking four and striking out 12.
Getting the four hits for Elk, all singles, were Eric Wehler, Ben Daghir, Pat Brennen and Kyle Schneider. Dylan Kugler and Colton Joseph led Serra with three hits each.
Kugler led off with a double for Serra. Matt Loftis was walked and Chris Miller was intentionally walked to load the bases. A walk to Alain Girman scored Kugler. A single by Trevor Jaworski scored both Loftis and Miller. With one out, Joseph reached base on an error, allowing Girman to score and give the Eagles the 4-0 lead. With two outs in the home half of the inning, Luke Daghir walked and Ben Daghir singled. Both were left stranded.
Serra scored a run in the top half of the second inning on two singles and an error, making the score 5-0. In the home half of the inning, Jake Cortina reached base on an error. With one out, Pat Brennen reached base on an error. Kyle Schneider reached base on a bloop single. With two outs, Eric Wehler walked to score Cortina. Brennen was able to score on a throwing error, cutting the Serra lead to 5-2.
A double play helped put the Eagles down in order in the third. The Crusaders left a man on base in their half of the inning. Both teams went down in order in the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Serra left a man on base, while Elk Catholic went down in order in the home half of the inning.
The top of the sixth found the Eagles erupt for five runs on six hits and two errors. One of those hits was a home run by Alain Girman. The Crusaders went down in order in their half of the inning.
Serra was able to score a run on three hits in the top of the seventh inning to take an 11-2 lead. Brennen led off the home half of the inning with a single. Josh Feldbauer reached base on a fielderâ€™s choice, erasing Brennen. Ricky Pearsall walked. A single by Wehler scored Feldbauer, sending Pearsall to third. Wehler stole second. Luke Daghir reached base on an error, scoring Pearsall and Wehler to make the final score 11-5.
Playing in their final game for the Crusaders were Ricky Pearsall, Eric Wehler, Luke Daghir, Ben Daghir, Jake Cortina, Zac Brody, Kyle Schneider, Josh Feldbauer and Sam Schneider.
The Crusaders ended their season with a fine 18-4 record.
In other PIAA action involving District 9 teams, Coudersport lost to Mercyhurst Prep 3-2 in 12 innings, Riverside beat Karns City 1-0 and Punxsutawney beat Hampton 11-1 in five innings.
Serra Catholic 11
Dylan Kugler (c) 5-3-3, Matt Loftis (ss) 3-2-2, Chris Miller (p) 2-1-1, Alain Girman (cf) 3-2-1, Trevor Jaworski (3b) 4-0-1, Chad Hazaga (lf) 4-0-1, Brandon Coddington (rf) 3-0-1, Wayne Hydak (1b) 1-0-1, Quincy Zittelli (dh) 3-1-1. Totals 30-11-15.
Ricky Pearsall (ss) 3-1-0, Eric Wehler (cf) 3-1-1, Luke Daghir (c) 3-0-0, Ben Daghir (2b/p) 4-0-1, Brock McCullough (dh) 3-0-0, Jack Herzing (p) 0-0-0, Sam Schneider (2b) 0-0-0, Jake Cortina (1b) 3-1-0, Joe McLaughlin (lf) 2-0-0, Zac Brody (ph) 1-0-0, Pat Brennen (3b) 3-1-1, Kyle Schneider (rf) 2-0-1, Josh Feldbauer (rf) 1-1-0. Totals 28-5-4.
Score by innings R
Serra 410 005 1 11
ECCHS 020 000 3 5