The Blackhawk-Thomas Jefferson WPIAL semifinal tonight was as good of a game as I've seen at any baseball level.
It had the makings of a great pitchers duel - and it more than lived up to it. I don't remember seeing a pitchers duel like this on the high school level.
Thomas Jefferson senior Greg Schneider had a no-hitter through eight innings. Remember, high school games are only seven innings. He finished with a one-hitter and 14 strikeouts.
Blackhawk used stud sophomore Brendan McKay. Huh. He doesn't pitch - or act - like a sophomore. He pretty much matched Schneider, pitching a two-hitter and striking out 15.
Under PIAA and WPIAL rules, a pitcher can' t work more than nine innings in a game. Schneider threw only 105 pitches. The game was won by, of all things, a throwing error by Schneider on a bunt. You had to feel for Schneider because of the way the error came about.
Blackhawk's Brandon Mansell led off the ninth inning with Blackhawk's first hit, a bouncing ball up the middle. You knew what was coming next with a Bob Amalia-coached team. For sure, it was a bunt. Brendan Kearney laid down a nice bunt in front of the plate. Schneider charged and fielded it. But when he threw to first, his feet gave out (Schneider later said the grass was a little wet). His throw was a little high to first and it sailed into right field, allowing Mansell to score all the way from first.
Blackhawk wins, 1-0. What a game.
Schneider is really impressive. It will be interesting to see if he gets drafted. You look at his statistics, I say he has had one of the best seasons of any pitcher in WPIAL history. Yes, I said history. Consider: His eight shutout innings stretched his scoreless streak to 32 innings. He is now 8-1 and has allowed only three runs all year. in 66 1/3 innings. That is an unbelievable season.
But McKay was so impressive, too. This kid has a terrific future. What a curveball. He buckled Thomas Jefferson hitters all night with the curveball.
Thomas Jefferson isn't done yet, though. The Jaguars will play Hopewell in the WPIAL consolation game. The winner goes to the PIAA playoffs.
Blackhawk plays Belle Vernon in the WPIAL final next week.
Here are the scores from today's games (WPIAL and City League). A few games were postponed until tomorrow.