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NTL BASEBALL: WYALUSING CAN'T GET GOING IN STATE SEMIFINAL LOSS TO TRI-VALLEY (2024-06-10)

BY CHRIS MANNING
Northern Tier Sports Report
BLOOMSBURG — CJ Carr led off the game with a first pitch single, and then it was all downhill for Wyalusing from there. They failed to move him across, then watched as Tri-Valley pounded out 14 runs on 13 hits to top the Rams, 14-0 in five innings, during PIAA, Class AA baseball semifinal Monday.

The Bulldogs scored four in the bottom half of the first, three in the second, six in the third - all with two outs - and one in the fourth. Wyalusing tried to keep pace as they got runners on in the first four innings but couldn’t move them across.


“They came out and hit the ball well, obviously,” said Wyalusing coach Nick Vanderpool. “They got a couple cheap hits there in the first inning, got momentum, and we just never really could seem to snatch it back. We had a chance to get momentum in the top of the first, the first pitch we got that single, but just didn’t find a way to get him in. We kind of gave them momentum there and then they took it and they seized it.”


Carr (1-for-3) and Nick Vanderpool Jr. (1-for-3) had the two Wyalusing hits while Trehnon Hugo, Casey God, and Kaeden Kusmierz all reached on walks. 


They made good contact at times, but the Tri-Valley defense proved to be airtight all afternoon.


Hunter House started and took the loss, going two innings with three strikeouts, two walks, six hits, and seven runs. Carr came in an inning, allowing five hits, two walks, and six runs, as Parker Petlock tossed the final inning, with one strikeout, no walks, one hit, and one run.


Four different players had multi-hit games for Tri-Valley, as Owen Miller (3-for-4) scored twice with Gavin Klock (3-for-3) getting two doubles, one run scored, and 6-RBI.


Gavin Scheib (2-for-3) had a triple, 3-RBI and three runs scored, while Caden Leonard (2-for-3) scored three times. Jason Stewart (1-for-2) had a double with two runs scored, and 2-RBI.


Scheib got the start, and win, going three innings with six strikeouts, three walks, and two hits. Miller came on for the final inning.


In the first, after Wyalusing stranded Carr at second, the first six Tri-Valley batters reached to take a 4-0 lead, as they batted around.


In the top of the second Kusmierz would draw a 2-out walk but didn’t make it past first.


In the bottom half of the inning errors came out to haunt Wyalusing, as they appeared to have Leonard picked off at first after a lead-off walk, but the ball got by the first baseman and rolled to the fence. That allowed Leonard to reach third, who scored on a ground out.


An after that put another Tri-Valley runner on. Wyalusing would get a second out, but back to back doubles by the Bulldogs scored two more runs to make it a 7-0 lead.


The Rams had their best chance to score in the third as Vanderpool singled, then Hugo drew a 4-pitch walk to put two runners on with two outs. 


Scheib, though, got a strikeout on a 3-2 count to get out of the jam.


“We got guys on, but just couldn’t get them in,” Vanderpool said. “Of course, we had to change our game plan once you get down by four, it takes a lot of the steal and stuff out, so, it is what it is.”


Carr started the third and appeared to right the ship as he retired the first two batters. However, the next eight Tri-Valley batters reached to rattle off six runs to push their lead to 13-0.


In the top of the fourth God drew a 1-out walk, but two hard hit balls from the next two batters didn’t get past the Bulldog defense.


Tri-Valley manufactured another run in the top of the fourth, while, in the fifth, Miller retired the Ram line-up in order to punch their ticket to states.


It’s a tough ending for quite a ride that Wyalusing has been on this postseason. After escaping Canton with a win in the first round of districts the Rams haven’t stopped - holding off South Williamsport for a repeat district title, and then the big highlight, a walk-off win over Calvary Christian in the state quarterfinals.


“It’s been really cool,” Vanderpool said. “It’s just a great group of boys. These guys probably go down as the greatest, if not one of the greatest groups ever to don the green and gold - two back to back district titles, a state semifinal run, which is the farthest we’ve made it in 26 years, and the second farthest ever. It’s proof they’ve had a really good career, and we’re a really good bunch of ball players. I’m proud of them.”


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PHOTO CAPTION: Wyalusing’s CJ Carr makes contact on a first inning hit…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING



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