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Portville Rallies Multiple Times To Beat Black Knights

PORTVILLE — No. 5 Silver Creek/Forestville had multiple opportunities to pull off an upset of No. 1 Portville in Section VI Class C semifinal action Thursday.

Each time, the Panthers fought back.

In the end, the top seed won in dramatic fashion.

Luke Petryszak hit a two-run double to right-center field, scoring Ryan Stillman and Michael Cole with the tying and winning runs, as Portville returned to the championship game for a second straight year with a 5-4 nine-inning victory over the Black Knights.

“Every time they punched us, we gathered ourselves together, whether it was on the field or in the dugout, and sometimes it was me, sometimes it was one of my assistants, sometimes it was the kids,” Portville head coach Mike Matz said. “Every time it maybe could’ve unraveled we kept our composure.”

Silver Creek/Forestville took a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth as Gavin Borrello led off with a walk and went to third when Jonah Fox reached on an infield single. Andrew Piccolo then laid down a suicide-squeeze bunt to score Borrello.

“I’ve told our guys, if somebody were to squeeze against us and it’s done right, you can’t defend it,” Matz said. “Grab an out. Don’t make one problem two. Maxx (Yehl) fielded it and tagged the batter out.”

With runners on second and third, Luke Petruzzi struck out the next batter to escape the jam.

In the bottom of the frame, No. 9 hitter Stillman was hit by a pitch and Cole doubled before Nate Petryszak was also hit by a pitch. Then, with a 2-2 count, Petryszak picked up the winning hit.

The Black Knights took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when Brayson Parsell walked and scored on an RBI triple by Borrello. The margin grew to two an inning later as Caleb Fiegl walked with two outs and eventually scored when a Panthers’ pickoff throw to first base ended up in right field.

Portville got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Yehl doubled ahead of Petruzzi’s RBI single to left field. Then, down to their last out, the Panthers tied the game in the seventh. Cole was hit by a pitch with two outs and then stole second. Silver Creek/Forestville’s attempt to throw him out ended up in center field and another error allowed Cole to score on the play.

“When I saw him take off I thought ‘here’s our season. If he gets thrown out, we’re done,'” Matz said.

Borrello manufactured the first run of the game on his own in the top of the first. He led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on an error before scoring on a wild pitch.

Cade Neubauer threw 7 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned) while walking three and striking out eight for Silver Creek/Forestville.

Luke Petryszak started and threw five innings, allowing three hits and two runs (one earned) while walking four and striking out 10.

“It was excitement for the kids. This is my 17th or 18th year. I’ve been doing it a long time. All things going well, I play on being back next year. Some of these kids will not. We have 11 seniors. Some of them will not be here,” Matz said. “Whenever our season ends, whether it’s Saturday or with a state title, a number of these kids are done. It’s all about the kids. Seeing their excitement, their happiness, their joy, that’s why anybody coaches.”

PINE VALLEY ELIMINATED

FRANKLINVILLE — No. 2 Franklinville scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning and beat No. 3 Pine Valley 5-3 in a Section VI Class D semifinal Thursday.

Pine Valley led 3-0 after the top of the first inning before Franklinville leadoff hitter Bretton Blecha walked and eventually scored in the bottom of the frame.

In the second, Franklinville scored four runs to take a two-run lead and the margin held up the remainder of the way.

No. 8 hitter Gannon Callahan doubled and scored, Blecha walked and scored for a second time, Isaac Towne had an RBI hit and Beau Bielecki had one of his three hits and two doubles on the afternoon in the inning.

Matthew Spittler started and threw six innings, striking out seven and walking one while allowing all three runs. Blake Frank threw the final inning, striking out three and walking one.

George Kruszka struck out two and walked four before giving way to Sam Hunt, who struck out four and walked four for Pine Valley. Bryce Sercu had two hits while Hunt, Craig Howard and Wayne Libby had RBIs.

Franklinville will take on No. 1 Clymer/Sherman/Panama at noon Saturday at Diethrick Park for the Class D title.

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