In less than three minutes, Neshannock pitcher Frank Fraschetti used the same word eight times to describe both his emotions and his team after capturing the state title Friday.
Fraschetti struck out 11 in a three-hit shutout to lead the Lancers to a 9-0 win over Neumann-Goretti in the PIAA Class AA title game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The right-hander finished Neshannock’s impressive run through the PIAA playoffs as the Lancers outscored their opponents 30-5.
And he felt one word best described winning the state championship.
“It’s unbelievable,” Fraschetti said. “I keep saying it. It’s unbelievable.”
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Neshannock, the District 7 champions, jumped out to an early lead with a run in the first inning and blew the game open with six runs in the seventh. Neumann-Goretti managed just two hits in the first six innings and finally threatened to score with two outs in the seventh after a ground-rule double by Louis Testa.
That gave the Saints runners on second and third.
The game was out of reach, and Fraschetti preserved the shutout with his 11th strikeout.
“He just looked the part and kind of carried the team a little bit, and he was tremendous,” Neumann-Goretti coach Kevin Schneider said. “He was tremendous. I definitely tip my hat to him and no matter what his stuff was like, he mixed it up — his fastballs were everywhere from 80 to 86 (mph). He was very, very good.”
Fraschetti earned the win on the mound in Neshannock’s 7-2 win over Quaker Valley in the semifinals Monday. He was ready to go again Friday, dominating from start to finish.
“I really never told my coaches I wouldn’t be ready,” Fraschetti said. “Even if I have a little bit of doubt, I tell them yes, but I’ll never put my team in jeopardy just because I’m being selfish and want to pitch the state championship game.”
The move to go with Fraschetti paid off.
“Going in, I told the team we probably needed five runs to win,” Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood said. “And Frankie just threw lights out.”
Jeff Sanfilippo led Neshannock offensively, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs. His slow roller on a check swing pushed the Lancers ahead 3-0 in the sixth, and his two-run single capped the scoring in the six-run seventh.
“I talked to the kids last night, we had a quick meeting at the hotel,” Kirkwood said. “And I told them, halfway through the year, if someone would have told me we would have been here, I would have called them liars. And I said, I’m your head coach and believed in you and I still don’t think you could have got here. Again, it’s my bunch of misfits.”