Curve Classic: Day One Review

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Quarterfinal action in the 2014 Curve Classic took place yesterday with four games being played at Peoples Natural Gas Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates AA Eastern League Affiliate Altoona Curve. While the event is competitive it also offers high school players an unique opportunity, some for the first times in their lives, to play in a professional stadium.

   Curve Classic Logo

The three day event continues today with consolation games being played at 10:00am and 12:30pm followed by semi-final games at 3:00pm and 5:30pm. Winners from Friday remain alive in the single elimination format for a spot in Sunday's final. Prep Baseball Report will be in attendance for all four games again today.

                     Day One highlights

Quarterfinal #1 - Bishop Carroll 4,  Bishop Guilfoyle 3  (8 innings)

The first game of the 2014 Curve Classic began in dry, comfortable conditions and ended with rain and dropping temperatures. The extra inning affair began with Bishop Carroll plating an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning on an RBI single by 2B Scott Lucas. That  lead held for five innings as '14 RHP Josh Surkovich (Carroll) and '17 RHP Will Lozinak settled in and limited the offensive action for much of the game.

Surkovich yielded back-to-back singles to '15 1B Derek Cursio and '15 DH Matt Gormley but escaped the inning when Lozinak lined out to center field. Surkovich faced 18 additional batters before being touched up for the second Guilfoyle hit of the game by Lozinak to lead off the 6th inning. Lozinak later scored on a single by '15 3B Mogran Littinger to tie the game at one.

Lozinak, a 6-foot-4 freshman, was equally effective limiting Carroll to three hits in the middle innings. The Huskies finally go to the young righty in the bottom of the 6th inning scoring twice on a walk, two singles and a double steal to take a 3-1 lead to the 7th. Guilfoyle battled back with two runs in the top of the 7th   on a single by '15 2B Jared Barber, a triple off the right field wall by Cursio and a single by Gormley.

Carroll one it in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 8th on a walk to '16 SS Raymond Watt, a sac bunt by '14 3B Kenny Weiland and a sac fly by '15 LF Brandon Matinazzi to drive in Watt with the winning run.

Quarterfinal #2 - altoona 10,  clearfield 8

The 2nd game of the day was marred by rain from beginning to end and involved a 30 minute rain delay following the 4th inning that Altoona used to their advantage. Until the stoppage of play Clearfield had a 5-3 lead and appeared headed for an upset over a team that has won more Curve Classic Championships than all other winners combined.

Following the break in play Altoona erupted for seven runs on 5 hits in the 6th inning with the big blow being a two-run blast to the left field bleachers by catcher Dylan Conrad a Pitt-Johnstown recruit.

Clearfield refused to go quietly scoring once in the bottom of the 7th inning and loading the bases before a strikeout sent the Altoona faithful home with smiles on their faces.

'14 1B Jon Janocko led the Bison attack with a 2-for-3, two RBI day. Altoona was led by '14 3B Colby Fink's 3-for-3 day. '15 OF Zack Helsel and Conrad each tallied two hits.

Quarterfinal #3 - Central 2, Huntingdon 0

The third game of the day was a pitcher's duel from start to finish with a pair of junior right handers going head-to-head. Central's Mike Mock and Huntingdon's Hunter Price matched each other pitch-for-pitch in a scoreless tie until the bottom of the 6th inning.

With two outs and runners on first and second, freshman left-handed hitter Josh McKnight was called upon to pinch hit. The lefty delivered a line drive to left field that appeared to be lost in the stadium lights allowing both runners to score. Mock got a strikeout and a ground ball double play sandwiched around a single in the bottom of the frame to complete his shutout.

Devon Claar led the Huntingdon offense going 2-for-3. Central, ranked #2 in the PBR Super 16 Class AA Rankings was paced by Jay Stern who was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.

Quarterfinal #4 - Hollidaysburg 3, Latrobe 1

The final game of the evening belonged to Hollidaysburg LHP Andy Crum, a Shippensburg University recruit. Crum tossed a complete game allowing just three hits and an unearned run with five strikeouts. For good measure he also went 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Golden Tigers got on the board in the first when '14 SS Trent Sipes led off with a double and scored on a single from '15 3B Jordan McCall. '15 catcher Jericho Hilling doubled to lead off the 5th inning and scored on a double by '15 2B Dan Stubbs to make it 2-0. After Latrobe scored an unearned run in the top of the 6th inning to cut the lead in half, Hollidaysburg answered with a two out RBI single from '15 1B Zach Simpson.

Latrobe starting pitcher Jared Kollar was the hard luck loser going six innings and allowing just two runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Kollar also registered two of the Wildcats' three hits on the evening. 

                   Remaining Schedule

Consolation #1, 10:00am (Bishop Guilfoyle vs Huntingdon)
Consolation #2, 12:30pm (Clearfield vs Latrobe)
Semifinal #1, 3:00pm (Bishop Carroll vs Central)
Semifinal #2, 5:30pm (Altoona vs Holidaysburg)

Sunday, April 13, 2014:
2014 Championship Game - 1:00pm

                        tourney tidbits

A complete wrap-up of consolation and semifinal action will be posted on Sunday. Additional scouting notes and measureable information on standout players during the course of the tournament will be available in the Pennsylvania Scout Blog.

Pennsylvania Scout Blog Slide