Shoemaker helps BP sneak by Fox Chapel in varsity baseball Class AAAA quarterfinals

Russell Finelsen, Editor-in-Chief

Tylar Shoemaker had the go-ahead sacrifice fly, and BP beat Fox Chapel, 2-1, on May 20 in a Class AAAA quarterfinal match. It was played at West Mifflin High School.

The game was to be played on May 19, but rain forced the game to be moved back one day.

BP (13-7) started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Rob Morosetti led off the inning with a double, and later scored after Lou Ridgeway’s RBI single into center field. Even though Ridgeway was unable to score, BP jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.

The next inning, BP scored again. Mason Pritchard led off the inning with a single. He was able to go to second after John Scarsella’s bunt, and advanced to third after Fox Chapel pitcher Patrick Monteverde threw a wild pitch. Shoemaker then hit a towering sacrifice fly to left center field, which was able to score Pritchard. These two runs proved to be the only ones BP needed.

Fox Chapel (14-8) finally got onto the board in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Burkhart hit a triple into right field, and scored after Dan Vargo smacked an RBI single. A Jacob Pilarski single followed, pushing Vargo into scoring range. However, BP pitcher Joe Zufall got out of the inning, getting Greg Yaksich to fly out to center and forcing Josh Dunlap to hit a weak grounder to first base.

“We couldn’t push another one across,” Fox Chapel coach Michael Frank said to the Tribune Review. “That’s baseball. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is when it comes down to a one-game situation. Zufall did a great job getting ahead of our batters.”

Zufall, who is a recruit of Lock Haven University, struck out seven and only allowed six hits to get the win.

Monteverde only allowed four hits, but earned the loss. However, BP knew they could not rely on big hits.

“We respect Fox Chapel and the Monteverde kid,” Bethel Park coach Tony Fisher said to the Tribune Review. “Out of respect for him, we didn’t think we could sit back and get a big inning. We knew we had to execute the small-ball game in order to scratch runs across.”

This was Fox Chapel’s first trip to the quarterfinals since 1978. Meanwhile, BP has not won a title since 1999.

#13 BP advances to the semifinals, where they will play #9 Norwin on May 20 at 4 p.m. The game will be played at Boyce-Mayview Field in Upper St. Clair.