Valley View outfielder makes spectacular catch of Razvillas shot to advance to title game.

Last updated: May 24. 2013 12:21AM - 3231 Views

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ARCHBALD — Judging by the bruising swing and its piercing sound, the ball seemed destined to go over the fence.

But, alas, it died somewhere in midair and a charging Pat Houlihan came colliding with the right-corner fence — ball in hand following his not-so-graceful landing. The Valley View rightfielder snagged a Josh Razvillas rocket on the warning track.

Valley View eliminated the surprising Patriots 3-1 in the District 2 Class 3A semifinals Thursday in Archbald. The Cougars advance to face Abington Heights, who defeated Wyoming Area, in the district final Monday at PNC Field

“As soon as I hit the warning track, I didn’t care about hitting the fence to be honest,” Houlihan said. “I just put my head down and ran as fast as I could to get to it.”

Another 3 feet and the 12th-seeded Pittston Area would find itself with a one-run lead in the seventh inning. Another inch or so and the Patriots would find themselves in a tie game with No. 1 Valley View.

“In the seventh, we never quit,” Pittston Area coach Paul Zaffuto said. “We came back. Raz gave that ball a ride, and that kid made a hell of a play out there. I thought we were going up one after that swing. I thought it was way out of here. Hats off to him.”

The Patriots found life in their bats after five innings of being steamrolled by Valley View starter Collin Ferguson. Ferguson did not allow allow a hit through the first four innings and only managed a softly hit single in the fifth.

A mental mistake on the basepaths caused Pittston Area to miss an opportunity to shorten the deficit in the sixth. Cody Rowan was called out at first base on a hard grounder to third base that scored Jordan Houseman. Trying to sneak his way to third on the throw, John Kielbasa was caught in no-man’s land and tagged out in a run-down.

“He kept us out of control,” Zaffuto said. “He was throwing his first pitch for a strike. Our guys had a hard time with it; we haven’t seen a guy who worked backwards like that all year. He gave us a good battle, and unfortunately when we had runners in scoring position, we made a couple of mistakes on the base paths that took us out.”

Fielding errors also doomed the Patriots as all three Cougar runs — two unearned — could have been prevented. Facing a bases-loaded jam in the first, pitcher Matt Mott forced a Ferguson ground ball to shortstop Patrick McGinty. The throw on the 6-4 double-play turn sailed wide left and allowed two runs to count. Later in the bottom of the fifth, Connor Kranick scored Valley View’s third run on a wild pitch.

“To come here against the No. 1 seed, not expecting to do anything, and we played them 3-1,” Zaffuto added. “If you think about how they scored their three runs…they got three runs that we could have prevented. But hey, they put the ball in play and we made the mistakes.”

Mott was in front of Cougar hitters, keeping them off balance. He allowed six hits and one earned run in seven innings pitched.

Felix Mascelli led the Patriots with two hits and a double. Royan manufactured the team’s lone RBI.

“We’re a (4-11) team in the season,” Zaffuto said. “To be where we’re at is impressive to me. I like where we’re at. We’re actually playing the best baseball of the season.”

Kranick went 2-for-3 with two runs for the Cougars.

Valley View 3, Pittston Area 1

Pittston Area`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR

Joshua Radvillas 1b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Matt Mott p`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Michael Schwab dh`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Jordan Houseman c`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

John Kielbasa lf`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Cody Rowan rf`2`0`0`1`0`0`0

Michael Delaney cf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Felix Mascelli 2b`3`0`2`0`1`0`0

Justin Martinelli 3b`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Patrick McGinty 1b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0



Liam Callejas 2b`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Connor Kranick cf`3`2`2`0`0`0`0

Matt Stabeck 1b`1`0`1`0`0`0`0

Cody Puza pr`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Robbie Nardelli c`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Collin Ferguson p`3`0`0`1`0`0`0

Pat Houlihan rf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Dom Bordo ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Max Kranick ss`3`0`2`0`1`0`0

John Kranick 3b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Cody Canevari dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Billy Williams lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Pittston Area`000`001`0`—`1

Valley View`200`010`x`—`3

HBP — Motte 3, Ferguson 2. E — PA 2, VV 0.

Pittston Area`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Mott (L 1-1)`6`6`3`1`0`1

Valley View`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Ferguson (W 1-0)`7`5`1`1`1`6

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