As the Pennsbury celebration carried across the infield toward shortstop, Dallastown’s outfielders remained frozen after falling just short in the PIAA Class 6A championship game.
Nick Price set off the Pennsbury celebration in the bottom of the seventh inning with an RBI single to left field, lifting his team to a 1-0 win at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Friday night. In the middle of Pennsbury’s dogpile, Price’s baseball glasses snapped in half, but he didn’t care after his heroics clinched the walk-off victory.
“It was a feeling that you can only feel once in a lifetime,” Price said, wearing his reading glasses after the win. “We’re state champs, and there’s not a better feeling in the world than being a state champion.”
Neither team could break through offensively until Price’s game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Pennsbury pitchers Ryan McCarty and Billy Bethel combined for the shutout, with Bethel throwing the final two innings to earn the win. Dallastown starting pitcher Alex Weakland allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings in the loss.
Weakland threw just 78 pitches in an efficient start and didn’t allow a baserunner until the fourth inning. He said he slept for about an hour during a three-hour, 29-minute rain delay before the start of the game.
“I was ready to go,” Weakland said, his eyes red with emotion after the loss.
The right-hander ran into trouble in the seventh inning after giving up a leadoff double to Bethel. Dallastown catcher Bryant Holtzapple erased the threat by picking off pinch-runner Justin Ward at second base, but Pennsbury’s Justin Massielo singled to keep his team’s chances alive in the seventh.
After Massielo advanced to second on a groundout, Dallastown intentionally walked Ryan McCarty to bring Price to the plate with two outs. Price sent a two-strike pitch into left field, and Massielo just beat the throw to the plate by Dallastown’s Sean Reding to clinch the victory.
“This is what we’ve done all year. We don’t hit and then we win. It’s crazy,” Pennsbury coach Joe Pesci said. “That pitcher was incredible. Those guys made a ton of plays. They hit the ball. We just — we got the run in.”