D2 baseball: Dallas’ run ends in 4A title game loss to Valley View

By Dave Rosengrant - For Times Leader
Dallas’ Freddie Lombardo is safe at second base after reaching on an error as Valley View shortstop Dixon Black tosses the ball in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. -
Dallas’ Nick Kocher hits a single against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
The Dallas Mountaineers watch their defense against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Drew Patton retreats back to first base as Valley View’s Kyle Cwalinski waits for the throw in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Dallas’ Joshua Holdredge watches his sacrifice bunt roll down the first base line ahead of Valley View catcher Jeremy Boyle in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

MOOSIC – Diving catches. Back-handed plays in the hole. Controversial calls. Two pitchers tossing a gem.

The two best teams in the District 2 Class 4A baseball tournament sure put on a show Wednesday night at PNC Field in front of a crowd that resembled some RailRiders games.

With that much going on, all it took was a bad bounce that turned into a RBI-single to end the most historic run a Wyoming Valley Conference baseball team has ever gone on as Valley View knocked off defending state champion Dallas 1-0 in a rematch of last year’s district title game.

“Toughest group of kids I’ve seen come through the Dallas School District since I’ve been a coach,” Mountaineers coach Ken Kashatus said. “Just mentally tough, emotionally tough. Guts of burglars. No coward is shown from the time we were getting our brains beat in last year until we started to put it together.”

The two heavyweights went toe-to-toe with no score until the top of the seventh inning.

That’s when Valley View’s Jeremy Boyle led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. Dallas starting pitcher Nick Kocher got a strikeout before intentionally walking Dixon Black.

Then came a two-hopper hit by Alex Savkov to second baseman Freddie Lombardo, who was lined up waiting for the ball. But the second hop took a spin that sailed away from Lombardo at the last second and went into right field for an RBI single allowing pinch-runner Ryan Cesarini to score from second for the game’s only run.

“It seems like our guy was tracking it, crossed over. He was there and then when we saw him extend we could see that the ball hit a sidespin and went sideways,” Kashatus said.

Kocher was lifted out of the game after that play because he reached his pitch limit, but he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven. But he was outdueled by the Cougars’ Mason Black, who went the distance and gave up just four hits and one walk and struck out eight Mounts.

“Of the guys we saw in the state playoffs last year winning a state title, he was still the best guy we saw,” Kashatus said about Black. “We had to contend with him on the hill throwing seven and that was tough.”

Dallas’ best opportunity to score a run was in the third inning when Lombardo reached on an error and advanced to third base with one out, but a foul out and a strikeout ended the threat.

The Mountaineers’ run started on April 28, 2017, and they went through a stretch of winning 27 of 28 games before falling to the Cougars. With many returning players from last year’s gold medal team returning, Kashatus has nothing but praise for his club.

“It’s the toughest group of kids I ever coached at Dallas,” Kashatus noted. “We went through the conference with the bullseye on our back. We’re getting everyone’s best shot, everyone’s No. 1 pitcher because everyone wants to beat Dallas. We rose to the occasion most games. We couldn’t push one across here.”

DISTRICT 2 CLASS 4A CHAMPIONSHIP

Valley View 1, Dallas 0

Valley View`AB`R`H`BI

Black ss`3`0`1`0

Savkov 3b`4`0`2`1

Pezak cf` 3`0`0`0

Black p`3`0`0`0

Kovalchik lf`0`0`0`0

Sebastianelli dh`3`0`0`0

Cwalinski 1b`3`0`0`0

Boyle c`2`0`1`0

Cesarini pr`0`1`0`0

Howanitz rf`2`0`0`0

Combs 2b`3`0`2`0

Totals`26`3`6`1

Dallas`AB`R`H`BI

Kerdesky cf`3`0`0`0

McCrum ss `3`0`1`0

Luksic 3b`3`0`0`0

Kocher p`3`0`1`0

Mathers c` 3`0`1`0

Patton lf`2`0`0`0

Collins rf`3`0`0`0

Lombardo 2b`3`0`1`0

Holdredge 1b` 1`0`0`0

Totals`24`0`4`0

Valley View`000`001`0 —1

Dallas`000`000`0 — 0

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

Black W `7.0`4`0`0`1`8

Dallas `IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Kocher L `6.2`6`1`1`2`7

Lydon `0.1`0`0`0`0`0

Dallas’ Freddie Lombardo is safe at second base after reaching on an error as Valley View shortstop Dixon Black tosses the ball in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053118Dallas-VVBB_1.jpgDallas’ Freddie Lombardo is safe at second base after reaching on an error as Valley View shortstop Dixon Black tosses the ball in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.

Dallas’ Nick Kocher hits a single against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053118Dallas-VVBB_2.jpgDallas’ Nick Kocher hits a single against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

The Dallas Mountaineers watch their defense against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053118Dallas-VVBB_5.jpgThe Dallas Mountaineers watch their defense against Valley View in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Dallas’ Drew Patton retreats back to first base as Valley View’s Kyle Cwalinski waits for the throw in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053118Dallas-VVBB_3.jpgDallas’ Drew Patton retreats back to first base as Valley View’s Kyle Cwalinski waits for the throw in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Dallas’ Joshua Holdredge watches his sacrifice bunt roll down the first base line ahead of Valley View catcher Jeremy Boyle in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_TTL053118Dallas-VVBB_4.jpgDallas’ Joshua Holdredge watches his sacrifice bunt roll down the first base line ahead of Valley View catcher Jeremy Boyle in the District 2 Class 4A baseball championship at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

By Dave Rosengrant

For Times Leader