BG comeback comes up short


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Apr 02, 2023

BG comeback comes up short

Jun 6, 2023 Nick Negola attempts to avoid a tag by Blake Pisarcik at third

Jun 6, 2023

Nick Negola attempts to avoid a tag by Blake Pisarcik at third base.Photo for the Mirror by Chuck Meyers

By John Hartsock

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DuBois Central Catholic High School returned a strong nucleus this year from its 2022 team that captured the PIAA Class 1A baseball championship.

The Cardinals lost their first three games this season, though, and head coach Adam Fox regarded that as a blessing in disguise that prompted his players not to get too full of themselves and to summon their collective moxie.

"We have our main corps back from last year, and we have high expectations," Fox said Monday evening at Vets Field. "We started out 0-3 but we played with a whole lot of heart after that. I am so proud of these kids."

That collective heart was on display in Monday's PIAA Class 1A first-round state playoff game, when, after watching Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic scratch out two seventh-inning runs to forge a 5-5 tie, DuBois Central Catholic (18-5) scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning for an 8-5 victory.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Aiden Snowberger tossed a complete-game win, scattering eight BG hits, and the Cardinals won the game with three runs in the eighth on a go-ahead two-out RBI single by Kaden Brezinski and a two-run single by Blake Pisarcik.

"We had clutch hitting overall," Fox said of his team, which pounded out 13 hits. "Aiden Snowberger is the heart of our club. He's a real bulldog.

"Even late in the game, his velocity was still up and his location was good," added Fox, whose team lost to Clarion High School in last week's District 9 championship game. "This was a very good high school baseball game. Hats off to BG, too. They have really good players, and we knew that this would be a test for us. They were just as deserving to win this game as we were."

Indeed, the Marauders trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning and were down to their last strike before rallying to tie the game and force extra innings.

Junior Hamilton Gates hit a one-out single, and, after the second out was recorded, senior Cooper Rother laced a double to the right-center gap, scoring Gates and pulling the Marauders to within 5-4.

Snowberger — who threw 103 pitches in the game, two below the PIAA playoff game limit — had two strikes against senior Nick Negola before Negola punched a single up the middle of the field. Second baseman Carter Himes fielded the ball in the short outfield, but Rother never quit running and beat Himes’ throw to the plate to tie the game.

"I wasn't going to stop running," said Rother, who had three hits, scored three times in the game, and drove in a run. "Negola had a great hit up the middle and I was going to keep running and score to reward him for that.

"Both teams battled in this game," Rother added. "This was one of the best ballgames you could ask for to be played here."

Matt Pyne started the DuBois Central Catholic rally in the top of the eighth with a perfectly-placed one- out bunt single down the third base line against BG relief pitcher Owen Dombrosky. After Brayden Fox flied out for the second out of the inning, designated hitter Carter Hileman singled to left, moving Pyne to second base.

Brezenski followed by hitting a single to shallow center field, scoring Pyne with the go-ahead run as Hileman took third and Brezenski took second on a BG error on the play.

Both Hileman and Brezenski scored on Piscarcik's single to center, helping the Cardinals pad their advantage to 8-5, which was enough for Snowberger to close things out and earn DuBois Central Catholic a berth in Thursday's quarterfinal round against District 3 champion Greenwood High School at a site and time to be determined.

Greenwood advanced with an 8-0 first-round win over Meyersdale Monday.

"I just kept my head up high and kept grinding until the game was over," Snowberger said.

BG coach Tommy Williams, whose team won a District 6 championship and finished the season with a 16-8 record, had no complaints about the Marauders’ effort Monday.

"It was a great game, a tough game to lose because it could have gone either way," Williams said. "It's tough to beat a defending champion, but that's the game of baseball. Every team is good at this point in the season."

BG had leads of 1-0 and 3-2 before DuBois Central Catholic took a 5-3 lead with three runs in the sixth inning. Snowberger's RBI triple, four walks, two wild pitches, and a passed ball helped the Cardinals score three runs on just one hit while sending nine men to the plate in the inning.

A solo homer to right field by sophomore Brayden Fox in the top of the third inning put DuBois Central Catholic up 2-1 before BG punched across two runs in the bottom of the third on Negola's RBI groundout and sophomore Kade Sell's run-scoring single.

BG will bring back a good nucleus next year, but has graduated a good class of seniors.

"These seniors are one of the most talented groups that we’ve ever had," Williams said. "Three of the five are going on to play college baseball, and a fourth has the ability to do so.

"Today's game was a game of inches, and (DuBois Central Catholic) was just a little bit better today than we were."

DUBOIS CENTRAL CATHOLIC (8): Snowberger p 412, Pyne cf 411, Fox rf 412, Miller c 000, Hickman dh 312, Brezenski ss 511, Pisarcik 3b 502, Himes 2b 421, Kosko lf 401, Varischetti cr 000, Green 1b 311. Totals – 33-8-13.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE CATHOLIC (5): Rother p-ss 433, Dombrosky 2b-3b-p 312, Negola cf 401, Sell 1b-p 401, Beauchamp ss-2b 300, Wyandt c 400, Williams 3b-1b-3b 400, Gates lf 311, Cacciotti rf 300. Totals – 32-5-8.


DuBois Central Catholic 011 030 02–8-13-1

Bishop Guilfoyle 102 000 020–5-8-2

E–Himes, Beauchamp, Wyandt. 2B–Rother, Dombrosky, Negola. 3B–Snowberger. HR–Fox. RBI–Snowberger 2, Pisarcik 2, Fox, Brezenski, Negola 2, Sell, Rother. CS–Negola (Miller to Pisarcik); Miller (Sell to Williams to Beauchamp). DP–BG turned one (Dombrosky to Beauchamp to Williams on Brezenski ground ball). LOB–DuBois Central Catholic 11, Bishop Guilfoyle 5.


DuBois Central Catholic: Snowberger (W) 8IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, 1BB, 4SO.

Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic: Rother 2+IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, OBB, OSO; Sell 3 2/3IP, 1H, 3R, 3ER, 5BB, 1SO; Dombrosky(L) 2 1/3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3SO.

Records: DuBois Central Catholic (18-5); Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic (16-8).

Umpires: Dan Olsavsky (plate); Alex Fedor (first base); Carl Bopp (second base); Brian Wasilewski (third base).

Time of game: 2:14.

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