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And then there were four

Devils recover from blown lead to advance to PIAA semifinals

The+Blue+Devils+rallied+around+Nevin+Wood+to+earn+a+win+and+a+trip+to+the+PIAA+semifinals.+%28Ali+Wagner%29
The Blue Devils rallied around Nevin Wood to earn a win and a trip to the PIAA semifinals. (Ali Wagner)

The Blue Devils rallied around Nevin Wood to earn a win and a trip to the PIAA semifinals. (Ali Wagner)

Ali Wagner

Ali Wagner

The Blue Devils rallied around Nevin Wood to earn a win and a trip to the PIAA semifinals. (Ali Wagner)


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After making it this far, there was no way the Bellwood-Antis baseball team was going to be denied in their PIAA quarterfinal game against Marian Catholic.

So when the Spartans put up a three-spot in the bottom of the seventh inning, staving off elimination and clearly tilting the all-or-nothing game in their favor, there was no sense of panic.

Why would there be from junior Jack Showalter, the starting catcher who is probably just elated to be on their field after making it back for the playoffs from a broken hand suffered early in the preseason? How much pressure can there be when every minute on the field is gravy?

Showalter slapped the second of his two hits in the top of the eighth inning to score Joe Padula, who figured in a big way in the victory, scoring two runs despite not registering a hit and only logging one official at-bat.

Showalter ended the game 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in, and B-A won 6-5 to advance to the PIAA Class 2A semifinals Monday.  They will return to North York High School for the third straight game to take on Neumann Goretti out of Philadelphia.

The Saints are 17-3 and coming off a 13-10 victory over Old Forge.

Bellwood-Antis is looking for its third PIAA championship game berth, and first since winning the state championship in 2003. The Devils improved to 19-5 and have now won 15 of their last 16 games.

Nevin Wood earned the victory for the Devils, despite allowing the late rally by Marian Catholic. He struck out six and allowed only two hits. None of the runs under his watch were earned.

Before Wood entered the game in the sixth, freshman Travis Luensmann was dominant. He had allowed just one earned run and three hits over five innings as the Blue Devils built a 5-2 lead.

Along with Showaltwer’s big hit, several Devils had a day as B-A pumped out nine hits. Senior Brendan Kowalski tripled and scored a run,  junior Trent Walker had a single and an RBI, and senior Jordan McCracken smacked a pair of hits and drove in one.

The Devils and Goretti begin today at 4 p.m. Senior Sawyer Kline is the likely starter for B-A.

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The Voice of the Bellwood-Antis Student Body
And then there were four