Eisenhower shut out in PIAA baseball playoffs by Bishop McCourt

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Eisenhower’s season came to an end at the hands of Bishop McCort, 5-0, in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs Monday at Hollidaysburg High School.

The Crushers (17-7) plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and senior pitcher Brad Coleman cruised through five scoreless frames to earn the win. Coleman was perfect until the fourth, when Casey Vincent singled for what would be Ike’s only hit of the game. Coleman struck out 10 and walked none before giving way to Nathan Neiderhiser, who tossed a pair of scoreless innings to close out the game.

“I think the odds were against us from the start and it showed in the first. We came out pretty flat,” said Eisenhower coach Cody Vincent. “I told them what the atmosphere would be like down here and I’m proud of how my team handled themselves. We were one of two or three public schools still playing. It’s tough at the state level when you’re playing fully-funded private schools.”

Senior centerfielder Nemo Trexler started McCort’s first-inning rally by beating out an infield single and advancing to second on a ball in the dirt. Coleman helped his own cause with an RBI single that scored Trexler, and Neiderhiser tripled to deep left center to make it a two-run lead before the Knights could record an out.

Nick Gjurich tacked on one more with a fielder’s choice to the right side before Vincent was able to end the inning with a strikeout.

Coleman reached base again in the bottom of the third when a flyball was dropped in the outfield, and pinch-runner Justin Vardian came around to score on an Alex Sobecky single.

A second Ike error in the sixth led to McCort’s final run when Ethan Neiderhiser’s groundball was misplayed setting up a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jeremy Adams.

The loss ends Eisenhower’s season with an overall record of 9-8 – the first season Ike has finished .500 since 2004. The state playoff appearance and District 10 Class A championship was the Knights’ first since 2003.

Vincent took the loss on the mound after scattering five hits and three earned runs over six innings of work. The sophomore righthander struck out five batters and walked one.

Bishop McCort will advance to play Cranberry in the PIAA Class A Western Quarterfinal on Thursday. Cranberry – the second seed out of District 9 – defeated California by a score of 2-1 on Monday.

PIAA Class A first round

EISENHOWER (0): Bellardo, c, 3-0-0-0, Vincent, p, 3-0-1-0, Hunt, ss, 3-0-0-0, Berkhous, 1b, 3-0-0-0, Arford, cf, 2-0-0-0, Elmquist, dh, 2-0-0-0, Jackson, 3b, 0-0-0-0, Harvey, rf, 2-0-0-0, Head, 2b, 2-0-0-0. Totals 22-0-1-0.

BISHOP McCORT (5): Trexler, cf, 3-1-1-0, Coleman, p-1b, 3-1-1-1, Vardian cr 0-1-0-0, N.Neiderhiser, rf-p, 3-0-1-1, Wade cr 0-1-0-0, Sobecky, 1b-rf, 2-0-1-1, E.Neiderhiser, 3b, 3-1-0-0, Gjurich, lf, 2-0-1-1, Adams, 2b, 2-0-0-1, Formica, dh, 3-0-0-0, B. Wade, ss, 0-0-0-0, Rock, c, 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-5-5-5.

Eisenhower 000 000 0 – 0 1 2

Bishop McCort 301 001 x – 5 5 0

3b-N.Niederhiser (M).

IP-R-ER-H-SO-BB: E – Vincent (LP) 6-5-3-5-5-1; M – Coleman (WP) 5-0-0-1-10-0, N.Neiderhiser 2-0-0-0-1-0.