PIAA BASEBALL: Rohrer, Manheim Central stop Abington Heights

·6 min read

Jun. 11—CENTER VALLEY — It started out as a pitchers' duel.

But in the end, Connor Rohrer was just too much for Abington Heights to handle.

The junior allowed just two hits and struck out 16 in a complete-game, 107-pitch performance to lead Manheim Central to an 8-1 victory over the Comets in the PIAA

Class 5A baseball quarterfinals Thursday at Weiland Park Butz Field on the campus of DeSales University.

A pair of late four-run rallies backed Rohrer's effort and enabled the Barons (23-2), the No. 5 seed from District 3, to advance to Monday's semifinals against District 3 champion Red Land, which blanked District 12 champion Archbishop Wood, 5-0.

District 2 champion Abington Heights had its seven-game winning streak stopped and its season ended at 14-7.

"We knew he was very good. They have two really, really good pitchers," Comets coach Bill Zalewski said of Rohrer. "He gave us fits today, especially with his breaking ball. He did a great job locating and mixing up pitches and kept our guys off balance today."

Besides Rohrer, Abington Heights hurt itself with five errors. None of Manheim Central's runs was earned.

Still, for four innings, Abington Heights had a 1-0 lead as Comets junior starter Cole Vida was just as effective as Rohrer. The Fairleigh Dickinson University commit struck out nine and gave up just one hit through

4 1/3 innings.

"I just tried to stay up and do what I do best," Vida said. "Throw strikes and if it was hit, just let my infield and outfield do the rest of the work."

Abington Heights took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. With two outs, Mike Show was hit by a pitch. Scott Gilbert reached on an error, advancing Show to third, where he scored on a passed ball.

The Comets had a chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the third. Colin Davis and Matt Show hit back-to-back singles with one out. They advanced one base on a foul flyout by Mike Show, but Rohrer stranded them there with a strikeout.

Rohrer retired 14 of the final 15 Abington Heights batters, issuing only a walk to Matt Show leading off the bottom of the sixth.

"He was tough," Matt Show said. "He was mixing well, locating his pitches, and he got important outs when he needed them. We had opportunities to score and he pitched in big spots and got outs."

Because of how well Vida was pitching, Rohrer felt he had to limit Abington Heights to the one run.

"I used my two-seam fastball more when I tried to go inside and my four-seam when I tried to go outside," Rohrer said. "Depending on the count, I'd try to get my curveball to drop in the dirt or throw it for a strike. (Catcher Mason) Weaver really helped a lot blocking all the balls and dropped third strikes. And I used my changeup, which I usually don't. But it helped me out today.

"I didn't know how many runs we'd put up against that pitcher (Vida). He was really good. But we got his pitch count up and capitalized on their relievers. We did a great job hitting today."Things unraveled for Abington Heights in the top of the fifth. With one out, Vida hit the Barons' No. 9 hitter Ky Watson with a pitch, then an errant pickoff throw moved Watson to second. After another error allowed Riley McGallicher to reach, Noah O'Malley relieved Vida.

McGallicher stole second, but O'Malley struck out Weaver for the second out. However, Colton Book, a senior who is headed to Division I Stony Brook University, lined a 1-1 pitch back through the middle for a two-run single to give Manheim Central a 2-1 lead.

With first base open, Zalewski considered intentionally walking Book.

"We thought we could pitch around him. We handled him earlier a little bit," Zalewski said. "But he's a great player. He came up with a big hit in a big spot."

After a walk and a balk, Brady Harbach laced a two-run double into left field to extend the Barons' lead to 4-1.

In the top of the seventh, Manheim Central put the game away by scoring four runs on a pair of sacrifice flies, an error and a RBI double by Watson.

"I couldn't be more proud of this group," Zalewski said. "They came together as a team and played for each other. That's what it's all about moving forward."

Manheim Central 8, Abington Heights 1

Manheim Central 000 040 4 — 8

Abington Heights 100 000 0 — 1

WP: Connor Rohrer 7IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 16SO

LP: Cole Vida 4.1IP, 1H, 2R, 0ER, 3BB, 9SO

2B: Cam Eberly (MC), Brady Harbach (MC), Ky Watson (MC).

Manheim Central Abington Heights

ab r h bi ab r h bi

McGallicher 2b 4 1 0 0 Davis ss 3 0 1 0

Weaver c 3 0 0 0 MaShow 2b 3 0 1 0

Book 1b 3 1 1 2 MiShow lf/p 2 1 0 0

Brooks pr 0 1 0 0 Gilbert dh 3 0 0 0

Eberly ss 2 2 1 0 Vida p 0 0 0 0

Harbach 3b 4 1 1 2 O'Malley p 0 0 0 0

Zilinski lf 2 0 0 1 Anderson lf 0 0 0 0

Thompson dh 2 0 0 0 Robertson p 0 0 0 0

Rohrer p 0 0 0 0 Stevens c 0 0 0 0

Yoder dh 0 0 0 1 Griffin p 0 0 0 0

Mylin cf 3 0 0 0 Stanton rf 3 0 0 0

Derck ph 1 1 0 0 Pietryka 1b 2 0 0 0

Watson rf 3 1 2 1 Abel ph 1 0 0 0

Albright 3b 2 0 0 0

Kubic ph 1 0 0 0

LaCoe c/p 2 0 0 0

Padula ph 1 0 0 0

Deibert cf 2 0 0 0

Totals 27 8 5 7 Totals 25 1 2 0

Manheim Central 000 040 4 — 8

Abington Heights 100 000 0 — 1

2B: Cam Eberly (MC), Brady Harbach (MC), Ky Watson (MC).

Manheim Central IP H R ER BB SO

Rohrer, WP 7 2 1 0 1 16

Abington Heights IP H R ER BB SO

Vida, LP 4.1 1 2 0 3 9

O'Malley .1 2 2 0 1 1

Show 1.1 1 0 0 1 1

Robertson 0 0 2 0 1 0

LaCoe .2 1 2 0 0 0

Griffin .1 0 0 0 0 0

Robertson pitched to 2 batters in the 7th

Pitches: MC: Rorher 107; AH: Vida 79, O'Malley 18, MiShow 23, Robertson 9, LaCoe 21, Griffin 3

Records: MC 23-2; AH 14-7.

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