Brandywine Heights Halts South Fayette
Barnes, Keith, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
ALTOONA -- South Fayette coach James Barton said after his team defeated Mount Union that he would wait until after the pregame warmup to decide whether he would start senior Zack Fettig or junior Dylan Haviland in the PIAA Class AA championship against Brandywine Heights.
He wasn't kidding. Barton did not inform the official scorer of his selection of Haviland until 10 minutes before the first pitch.
In the end it didn't matter who went to the hill for the Lions. Offensively they barely put a dent in Brandywine Heights starter Kyle Stoudt.
Brandywine Heights (23-3) took advantage of a key South Fayette (18-6) error in the bottom of the first inning to open the scoring and rode Stoudt's arm to the first state baseball title in school history with a 4-1 victory over the Lions. With the South Fayette loss, the WPIAL went 0-4 in baseball and softball championship games, leaving District 7 without a state titleholder for the first time since 1997.
It was a disappointing end for South Fayette, which was attempting to bring the school its first state championship in any team sport.
Haviland, a Duke recruit, allowed only two hits in his previous two outings, including a no-hitter against Bald Eagle Area in the opening round of the state playoffs, but gave up two in the fifth inning alone as Brandywine Heights broke open a tie game with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
With one out Ryan Najpauer walked and stole second. After a single by Cory Prutzman, Kyle Ziegler doubled to center to drive in Najpauer with the go-ahead run.
Fettig replaced Haviland after the double and got out of the inning when the next batter, Caleb Erb, hit a shallow fly ball that right fielder Ryan Ross caught for the second out. …