PIAA Baseball: Keystone Oaks hands South Park first loss

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A fortunate thing happened to the Keystone Oaks baseball team Thursday.

It rained.

The rainy weather postponed the Keystone Oaks-South Park game to Friday. The extra day allowed senior Jared Skolnicki to pitch, which was bad news for South Park.

Skolnicki, a dominating left-hander and a Kent State recruit, pitched a five-hitter to lead Keystone Oaks to a 3-0 victory against South Park in a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal at Pullman Park in Butler. The loss was the first of the season for South Park (25-1), which was trying to become the first WPIAL team to win a PIAA title with an undefeated record.

Had the game been played Thursday, Skolnicki would have been ineligible to pitch because he pitched seven innings Monday in a first-round game. According to PIAA rules, a pitcher who works more than five innings needs three days off before he can pitch again.

Skolnicki, who struck out six against South Park and walked one, is 11-1 and has allowed only four runs (three earned) in 76 innings. His only loss was to South Park, 1-0, in the WPIAL semifinals. In that game, Skolnicki pitched a two-hitter and struck out 11.

"He really wanted revenge," said Keystone Oaks coach Scott Crimone. "Mother Nature contributed to things and allowed him to get some revenge.

"He was great and continued to prove why he's the best pitcher in the WPIAL"

Keystone Oaks (20-5) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Skolnicki singled -- his third hit of the game -- and Ryan Ribeau singled. With one out, Taylor Lehman hit a grounder to first, but Shane Fetsko's throw to second was wild, allowing Skolnicki to score. Nick Riggle followed with an RBI single.

In the seventh, Keystone Oaks loaded the bases after three walks by Nick Yobbi, South Park's third pitcher of the game. Ben Canty then scored on a wild pitch.

Keystone Oaks had never won a PIAA playoff game until this season.

"Words can't describe this," Crimone said. "We've been looking forward to this since the last time we played them. I promised [the players] that wouldn't be the last time we played them, and they've been hungry for it since."

Class AA

• Quaker Valley 7, Shady Side Academy 3: WPIAL runner-up Quaker Valley (23-1) scored four runs in the first and went on to defeat Shady Side Academy (16-9) at Fox Chapel. Ben Utterback went 2 for 3 with three RBIs for Quaker Valley, which had 13 hits. Clayton Bouchard went 4 for 4 and Jake Pilewicz had three hits and an RBI. Winning pitcher Tyler Garbee gave up three unearned runs in the fourth. But after Shady Side Academy cut its deficit to 5-3, Quaker Valley added two runs in the fifth. Shady Side Academy's Jake Kleindl went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

Class A

• California 6, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 3: Aaron Previsky's four hits helped California (20-5) avenge a 2-1 loss in the WPIAL semifinals by eliminating OLSH (20-4) at Fox Chapel. Michael Luketich's RBI single sparked a three-run first for California, which led, 4-0, before OLSH scored three runs in the fourth. Brian Fisher was the winning pitcher and added a run-scoring single in the fifth.

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