Wednesday’s District 9 baseball playoff recaps.
(2)KARNS CITY 5, (3) CRANBERRY 3
PETROLIA, Pa. – Marcus Lantz and Nolan Riley came up with key two-out hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to help Karns City break a 1-all tie on its way to a 5-3 win over Cranberry in the District 9 Class AA semifinals at the Fairview Township Field.
Lantz’s single to left scored Evan Stitt from second to break the tie, and two batters later Riley laced a triple off the outstretched glove of rightfielder Nick Varsek that cleared the bases to put the Gremlins up 5-1.
Lantz and Riley discuss their day.
Cranberry, the third seed, tried to rally in the top of the seventh with a two-run Tyler Gustafson double scoring Evan Lutz and Austin Rex. But Holden Martin got Brandon Zerbe to look at strike three, Jake Felmlee to groundout to shortstop before Nolan Brannon hit a high chopper off Martin’s glove that shortstop Stitt picked and threw to first to get the sliding Brandon for the final out.
Despite not having a hit until the fourth inning, Karns City found itself tied at one thanks to an unearned run in the third on an error by shortstop Tylor Ziegler plus three walks by Zerbe, who struggled with command all day walking eight in 4 ⅔ innings, including a bases-loaded free pass to Stitt.
Cranberry had taken 1-0 lead in the first when Rex walked with one out went to third on a Gustafson single to right-center and scored on a Zerbe single to right.
But that was all the Berries mustered against Martin until the seventh despite having action on the bases in every inning.
Cranberry hit into inning-ending double plays in the first and second, stranded a runner at third in the third and the bases loaded in the fourth.
Karns City, the second seed, finished with five hits , including two from Riley, who also drew a walk. Stitt walked twice and had a single while stealing two bases.
Gustafson had a pair of its, including the double, for Cranberry, while Ziegler was 3-for- and Rex 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Martin went the distance allowing three earned runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out six.
Zerbe took the loss allowing five runs, four earned, on three hits and eight walks while striking out six in 4 ⅔ innings. Ziegler threw 1 ⅓ allowing two hits, including the Riley triple, while walking two and striking out two.
Karns City (15-5) will face Moniteau in the title game most likely June 1 at a site and time to be determined. Cranberry ends the season 10-7
(1)MONITEAU 6, (4)BROOKVILLE 3
KNOX, Pa. – Derek Boben found himself in a three-run hole three batters into the game, but managed to turn in a workhorse-like complete-game performance as the top-seeded Moniteau Warriors beat the Brookville Raiders, 6-3, in the District 9 Class AA semifinals at Keystone High School.
Boben walked two batters and gave up a three-run homer to Kyle Dunkle to start the game, but allowed just four hits the rest of the way while striking out six and walking seven. The Raiders had runners on in every inning but one the rest of the way, but Boben blanked them the final six innings.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (15-3) gradually got back in the game, getting to within 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one out, Boben doubled and Zack Adamson singled. Lake Pry’s groundout and Josh Adamson’s double each drove in runs and put the Warriors up for good.
Moniteau added two runs in the sixth. Wyatt Geibel doubled in a run and scored on Jake Jewart’s sacrifice fly.
Espy Reinard had two of Brookville’s five hits off Boben, including a two-out double in the sixth inning.
Ben Reitz started for the Raiders (7-13) and took the loss, going 4 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and four runs while walking three and striking out one. Jordan Tosh finished it out from there, giving up three hits and two runs with a strikeout.
Moniteau will take on Karns City in the title game at a site, time and date to be determined.
NOTE – The Warriors were the home team at Keystone because Moniteau’s usual home field – Kelly Automotive Park in Butler – was unavailable.