It was a back-and-forth game but Penns Valley came out on the wrong side against Forest Hills.
The No. 12 Rams (7-10) controlled their District 6 Class AA contest against the No. 5 Rangers (15-4) for much of the afternoon but allowed three runs in the bottom of the seventh to drop a 12-11 game on Monday. Penns Valley’s season ended with the loss.
“We battled and were resiliant the whole game,” Penns Valley coach Chuck Romig said. “We had the lead most of the game. But to give them credit, they had good at bats and put the ball in play. We had some walks at the wrong time and they would get some hits behind them.”
The teams combined to use five pitchers and racked up 22 hits in a game that featured six lead changes. Penns Valley began the scoring with a run in the top of the first and held off an early Forest Hills surge with a 5-2-3 double play in the bottom of the inning. Although the Rangers took a 2-1 lead into the second, the Rams hammered home five runs to reclaim the lead in the top half.
But Forest Hills began to chip away at the lead immediately. The Rangers plated three runs in the bottom of the second before picking up two more in the top of the fourth. Forest Hills went ahead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. But Penns Valley recaptured the lead with a two-run fifth and another run in the sixth while the Rams defense — which was flawless on the afternoon — kept Forest Hills off the board.
But the wheels came off in the final frame.
Forest Hills got a base hit to lead off the bottom of the seventh followed by a double off of L.J. Johnson to put runners on the corners with no outs. The Rams got the first out with an infield fly on the the next batter but couldn’t get another double play on a ground ball a few pitches later. Instead runners scored and Johnson walked the next batter. In the final at bat, Forest Hills’ Robert Bambino drove in the winning run to end the Rams’ season.
“I was pretty proud of our kids,” Romig said. “We took them to the line and we had a chance to win the game and didn’t get it done.”
Johnson drove in two runs for the Rams while Colton Treaster, Cameron Tobias and Wyatt Sharp each finished with a pair of RBIs.
Davey Keller started and pitched two innings for Penns Valley. Keller allowed five runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Johnson struck out seven but allowed seven runs on seven hits with three walks.
Forest Hills will face No. 13 Tyrone on Tueday.