Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turnaround Complete Ringgold Wins First State Title, Leaving Disarray in the Past

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turnaround Complete Ringgold Wins First State Title, Leaving Disarray in the Past

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -Ringgold faced an ace pitcher in the PIAA Class 4A championship. Valley View senior Mason Black, a Lehigh University recruit, had a perfect record entering the game, had impressive statistics (six walks all season and an 0.56 ERA) and a fastball that reached the low 90s mph.

Black seemingly had everything, but Ringgold had an answer for him. The Rams went batty.

Black had given up six runs all season, but Ringgold equaled that total in five innings. By the end of the Thursday game, the Rams were able to call themselves baseball state champions for the first time. Ringgoldbeat Valley View, 6-4, at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Ringgold finished with 11 hits, nine off Black, who lasted only five innings and threw 97 pitches. Five of Ringgold's runs were earned, one more than Black had allowed in 50 innings.

"We didn't think we'd hit him as well as we did," said Bo Haines, Ringgold's senior center fielder, who was 1 for 2 with a run scored.

"That was maybe the best we hit all season. But I know we were extra-focused for him. We knew he'd be throwing strikes because we knew he had only, what, six walks all season. We were able to get the bat on the ball."

Actually, Black had walked only five all season, but the Rams certainly didn't fade to Black. Ringgold (20-4) came back after spotting Valley View (15-4), located near Scranton, a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior shortstop Koby Bubash led Ringgold with three hits, and Chase Angotti and Luke Winterbottom had two.

One of Winterbottom's hits was a two-run single in the first.

"They liked the challenge," said Ringgold coach Don Roberts. "We saw a couple really good pitchers going into this game -the Richie Dell kid from South Fayette and a real good lefty from St. Mary's who threw about 90. I think that gave us confidence we could hit this kid."

Valley View took a 4-2 lead in the second off starter Josh Peters, but Ringgold did more than just answer. The Rams forged ahead in the bottom of the inning. …

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