Canon-McMillan created a rare opportunity by shutting out WPIAL champion Peters Township, 8-0, in the PIAA Class AAAA baseball quarterfinals.
The Big Macs' big adventure continues as the Section 3 champs move on to the final four Monday against Central Mountain at noon at Brockway High School stadium. That's the semifinals, as in seven innings from qualifying for the state title game. Not bad for a program that never had won a state tournament game before this season.
"I really don't think these kids even realize what's going on," Canon-McMillan second-year coach Steve Bucci said. "This program has never even gotten this far, ever. So, they're just playing with a lot of emotion and pride."
Canon-McMillan (20-5) hopes to follow the path of Seneca Valley, which lost in the WPIAL playoffs last year but rallied to win the state Class AAAA title.
First, they'll have to deal with Central Mountain, which rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the sixth inning, and a 3-2 hole in the bottom on the seventh, to stun Conestoga, 4-3, in another quarterfinal Thursday at Hershey High School.
Central Mountain likes to run. Its players proved it by stealing seven bases in the quarterfinal victory.
Central Mountain also relied on sophomores Cody Dolan and Colten Stover, who combined for four hits, scored two runs and drove in two more.
Dolan provided the first clutch hit by tying the score, 3-3, with a two-out, two-strike single to right field in the bottom of the seventh. …