Central Mountain baseball loses in PIAA 5A subregional

NEW CASTLE — When walking shoes were added to Cathedral Prep’s arsenal of bats, arms and gloves in the PIAA Class 5A subregional on Friday, the combination proved too much for Central Mountain to overcome.

With walks to the first four batters leading to a four-run first inning, and then their bats, arms and gloves taking over, the Ramblers coasted to an 11-3 victory over the Wildcats in a game at Neshannock High School that was rescheduled after a weather-related cancellation on Thursday.

“We started slow, walking the first inning basically through,” Central Mountain coach Mike Kramer said. “We know that walks can hurt, that’s what we took advantage of last game (Central’s 10-3 win over Hollidaysburg in the 5A District 6 championship game), and we put ourselves in a hole and had to battle back.”

After getting down 7-0 through four innings, the Wildcats posted a three-run fifth inning to close the gap to 7-3, but it wasn’t enough.

“We showed some good signs there, and kept fighting, but Prep kept battling and putting bats on the ball, and making good hits and scoring runs, and you’ve got to be able to score runs with that in order to beat it,” Kramer said.

Prep got a five-hit, six-strikeout effort from starting pitcher Jimmy Colvin, three hits from Rockne Seidel, five RBIs by Colin Kelly, and two spectacular diving catches by right fielder Paul Causgrove while polishing off the Wildcats.

“The guys got after it in all phases of the game today,” Prep coach Josh Constable said of his Ramblers, the 5A District 10 champions, who improved to 14-8 and will next meet North Allegheny in the PIAA first round on Monday.

Central Mountain had its season end at 12-7.

After Alex Baldi, Regan Schleicher and Seidel walked in succession leading off the game, Colvin also walked, forcing in a run. Jack Malec then singled in two runs and Michael Oblich singled in another, staking Prep to its quick 4-0 lead.

The Ramblers then used a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by an RBI single by Seidel and a two-run single by Kelly, to build their lead to 7-0.

Zach Eck’s double leading off the fifth inning and a single by Tanner Lavelle were followed by a run-scoring single by Aaron Swartz to put Central Mountain on the board, and cut Prep’s lead to 7-1. A sacrifice fly by Payton Johnson and an RBI single by Ross Glossner later in the inning then cut the Wildcats’ deficit to four runs, 7-3.

The Ramblers batted all the way around and one over in the sixth inning while adding four runs, and upping their lead to 11-3. Kelly’s three-run homer to left, with Seidel and courtesy runner Jacob Cooper aboard, was the big blow of the inning.

Malec had two hits for the Ramblers, while Schleicher drew three walks and scored three times, and Baldi scored twice.

“Jimmy (Colvin) got ahead in the count and was able to work to his strengths, we gave him some runs early, which we were able to build upon, and on the defensive side we had guys laying out for balls,” Constable said. “It was a real competitive effort all around.”

Eck led Central Mountain with two hits and a walk.

“Prep is a solid team,” Kramer said. “Their pitcher, Colvin, mixed speeds well, changed it up and kept the hitters off balance. We put some good bats on the ball, but their defense played extremely well, particularly the right fielder (Causgrove), who made two great plays on us. I wish Prep well, they have an opportunity to do well.”