Thu May 31, 2012
Game two of championship Wednesday began at 6:00pm at Consol Energy Park in Washington, PA. No. 18 California came in as the only remaining undefeated team in the PBR state rankings and were looking for their first WPIAL baseball championship since 2006. Neshannock came into the game looking to defend their WPIAL championship from a year ago.
T.D. Conway, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound, California University of Pennsylvania football recruit took the mound for California. Using a fastball that topped out at 88MPH and pinpoint control for the majority of the game, Conway managed to keep Neshannock off the scoreboard until giving up an unearned run with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Neshannock starter Alex Strittmmatter was just as impressive. Strittmatter went the distance in shutting out California on five hits and struck out 10 in the process, including the final two hitters of the day.
Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, Neshannock got a lift from shortstop John Sansone who drilled a Conway fastball to the 375 foot sign in left center field for a lead off triple. The Florida State commit scored on a Ryan Gianguili single to add to the lead.
Neshannock put the game away with three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. A double by John Conglose drove in two runs and effectively ended any hopes of a late inning comeback for California.
With the 5-0 win, Neshannock repeats as the WPIAL A Champions and will advance to the PIAA state playoffs next Monday. California will also advance to the PIAA tournament as the number two seed out of District 7.