It only seems fitting that the team that has dominated the City League for the past half-decade will go out as the last champion in its history.
Allderdice beat Brashear, 4-2, Thursday at PNC Park to claim its fifth consecutive City League title, and the final one before the league's baseball teams move to the WPIAL next season.
"We talked at the beginning of the season about going out with five consecutive championships," Allderdice coach Jon Parker said. "It's really significant that we've done this now with guys that don't know anything besides winning."
The Dragons plated three runs in the top of the seventh to come from behind and claim the trophy, but not without some controversy.
Junior third baseman Braden Hoffer tied the score, 2-2, on an RBI single to right, and was standing on second base when Hunter Mervis came in to pinch-hit. Mervis hit a soft ground ball back to Brashear pitcher Regis Sauer, who threw to third to catch Hoffer in a rundown.
"I was just saying [to Hoffer,] 'Stay in it, stay in it, stay in it,' hoping Mervis would take the base and we'd have someone in scoring position," Parker said.
The Bulls appeared to tag out Hoffer, but the second base umpire ruled that one of the Brashear fielders obstructed Hoffer on the basepath, and Hoffer was awarded third base. Brashear coach Nate Geller came out to argue the call, but to no avail.
"It was one of the crazier plays I've ever been a part of, that's for sure," Parker said.
Justin Zak and Brennan Hoffer followed with back-to-back run-scoring singles to give the Dragons the lead and some insurance.
Geller said the obstruction call was "unequivocally wrong," but declined to elaborate further.
"I don't want to take anything away from Allderdice," he said. "It's really impressive what they've done."
The Bulls took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring single from pitcher Regis Sauer and an error on Allderdice senior pitcher Kevin Silvio.
After his single, Sauer appeared caught in a pickoff between first and second. Silvio's throw sailed into center field, though, and Adam Lynch scored from third for Brashear's 2-0 lead.
Silvio bounced back and allowed just one hit the rest of the way to pick up the complete-game win. He struck out seven and gave up four hits.
"It's great," he said. "I'm ecstatic that I was able to pitch the whole thing and get the win for us."
Silvio said he has been battling a sinus infection the past few days.
"That sort of summarizes what he's been for us all year, which is just a warrior," Parker said. "He's thrown a ton of innings, a ton of pitches for us. On a team that doesn't have real depth in pitching, he's been what we needed him to be."
Sauer also pitched a complete game for Brashear, striking out seven and allowing nine hits.
"I'm just real proud," Geller said. "He threw the ball real well. He threw three pitches out there and he wanted the ball."
While Brashear and Allderdice must now face the realities of increased competition in the WPIAL next season, Thursday was a time to witness City League's baseball for the last time. Geller reflected on his time playing at Peabody, and what the City League and its championships meant to him.
"There's a long tradition," he said. "A lot of us affiliated with the City League, we have a soft spot for it. It's going to be sorely missed next year, but we're looking forward to the opportunities of showing our wares against other suburban communities."
• Canon-McMillan 4, Shaler 3: Giorgiana Zeremenko singled in Tera Schram with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give No. 5 Canon-McMillan (15-5) the upset win against No. 1 Shaler (19-3) in a WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal at Fairhaven Park in Kennedy Township. Olivia Lorusso hit a two-run home run for the Big Macs, while Shaler got two home runs from Morgan Russo and one from Lauren Hackett.
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SWernerPG.