PIAA BASEBALL: Class 2A semifinal capsule

·2 min read

Jun. 14—PIAA BASEBALL SEMIFINALS

Class 2A

RIVERSIDE (23-0) vs. SCHUYLKILL HAVEN (23-3)

When: Today, 4:30 p.m.

Where: Mountain Top American Legion Field

How they got here: District 2 champion Riverside beat Sayre, 7-1, in the first round and McConnellsburg, 1-0, in the quarterfinals; District 11 champion Schuylkill Haven beat Masterman, 15-0 in 3 innings, in the first round and Camp Hill, 10-2, in the quarterfinals.

Players to watch:

Riverside — C Jason Janesko .500, 35 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 15 RBI; SS Michael Rickert .446, 31 R, 11 2B, 28 RBI; P-3B Zach Day .443, 19 R, 8 2B, 30 RBI, 10-0, 1.45 ERA, 90 K; P-1B R.J. Santarsiero .310, 25 R, 22 RBI, 10-0, 0.81 ERA, 80 K; OF Trevor Balcerzak .441, 19 R, 4 HR, 22 RBI.

Schuylkill Haven — 1B-P Jake Houtz .534, 34 R, 5 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 9-3, 2.57 ERA, 50 K; P-IF Mason Ulsh .423, 39 R, 20 RBI, 22 SB, 11-0, 0.80 ERA, 96 K; SS Jack Higgins .370, 34 R, 6 2B, 3 HR, 33 RBI; P Cole Canfield 2-0, 3.06 ERA, 21 K.

The buzz: This is the third time Riverside has reached the state semifinals. In the previous two trips, the Vikings lost to the eventual state champion: Camp Hill in 1999 and Southern Columbia in 2000. ... Riverside pitching has thrown eight shutouts this season. ... Schuylkill Haven is making its eighth PIAA appearance and has an overall record of 14-7, including 2-2 in state semifinals. ... The Hurricanes lost in the PIAA Class 2A final in 1983 to Riverview and in the PIAA Class 1A final in 2002 to Greensburg Central Catholic. ... Schuylkill Haven head coach Scott Buffington is in his 44th season and has a record of 664-264. ... The Hurricanes have won 13 straight games. Their losses this season came against Tri-Valley, 12-5; Oley Valley, 7-3; and Panther Valley, 7-3. They won the Schuylkill League Division II title, then captured their first Schuylkill League overall crown since 1985. Their District 11 championship is their third straight. ... Ulsh, a senior and four-year starter, is going to Division I Quinnipiac to pitch. He threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out 10 in the quarterfinal win against Camp Hill. ... Schuylkill Haven took advantage of 13 walks and two hit batters against Camp Hill.

Up next: The winner advances to Friday's final against either District 7 champion Shenango or District 7 No. 3 seed Serra Catholic at 10:30 a.m. at Penn State University's Medlar Field.

— SCOTT WALSH

Contact the writer:

swalsh@timesshamrock.com;

570 348-9100 ext. 5109;

@swalshTT on Twitter

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