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NTL BASEBALL: WYALUSING SHOWS OFF CHAMPIONSHIP METTLE IN DISTRICT TITLE RUN (2024-05-30)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
All season long Wyalusing baseball was out to prove they were more than a 1-man band. After come up just short in the NTL Division-I title race the Rams didn’t waste their best chance in the District IV, Class AA tournament, going 3-0 to repeat as district champions.

“Everybody was saying how Blake (Morningstar) won us a district title last year and it was good to come out and show everybody that we weren’t a 1-man show last year,” said senior Nick Vanderpool.


Last year they were one of the favorites trying to break new ground as a program, winning the first baseball district title, this year they were one of five or six teams in the mix. In fact, every team they beat was a higher seed.


They opened the game against Canton, a team they’d just beat the week before in extra innings. It proved to be another thriller coming down to back to back big defensive plays to pull out the 1-run win.


“We knew they were a really solid squad, really well coached,” said Parker Petlock. 


“Canton was tough,” added Vanderpool. “Going out there, and playing them for the second straight weekend, that was tough.”


Their bats came alive against the top seeded Montgomery Red Raiders, pounding nine hits in the 11-3 win. They had four extra base hits, including a home run by Hunter House.


“I think it really brought our confidence levels up,” Trehnon Hugo said about their big game in the semifinals. “Hitting that well really just led us into the district championship game.”


Then came the match-up with South Williamsport, a repeat of last year’s district title game. After struggling to get past the Mounties early in their careers, Wyalusing beat them for the third straight time, winning 9-6.


“It’s a good rivalry, we’ve played them many years in a row now,” Hugo said. “It just feels good to come out on top.”


Wyalusing pounded out 11 hits that game as CJ Carr, Vanderpool, and Isaac Shaffer combined to go 7-for-12.


“We kind of match-up well against them even though they were the higher seed,” remarked Vanderpool.


House got his third straight playoff win, though it was Petlock coming in and getting the save, a role he has taken up late in the season.


“I haven’t really pitched a ton but the guys have a lot of faith in me,” he said. “I know they’re going to play solid defense behind me, and I just have to go in there and throw strikes, even if it’s a stressful situation. It is a lot of fun sometimes having that pressure, but I know I can rely on my defense at any point.”


No matter what happens from here on out this group of seniors will graduate as the most accomplished class in program history - one league title and two district championships.


“It’s a really good way to end our career,” Hugo said.




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