Mansfield's season ends in nine-inning loss.

By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | June 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy Home Page Sports


Mansfield's season ends in nine-inning lossInning after inning the Mansfield Tigers pitching staff put zeroes on the board for the offense of last year's state finalists, Neumann Goretti.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Goretti matched those zeroes and in the end they pushed across a single run in the ninth inning to pick up a 1-0 victory over Mansfield in the PIAA, Class AA quarterfinals.

Goretti got a leadoff single in the ninth from Joe LaFiora and Brian Verrati drove in the running with a walk-off single.

Carl Dinger and Kipp Hillson were brilliant for the Tigers, allowing six hits and striking out seven in the game.

"I'm extremely proud," Mansfield coach Matt Perry said. "JP (Shaw) ran the first four games (of the postseason) for us, he got us there, and there was no letdown from those two guys.

"They kept them off balance, and obviously that is a great team. For us to play a 1-0 ballgame through nine innings, the kids threw outstanding, I'm proud of them."

However, Wagner bound Ethan Pritchett was equally brilliant for Neumann-Goretti, as he threw seven four-hit innings with 10 strikeouts, before Jarred Healey came in and threw two one-hit innings with two strikeouts.

Dinger worked 4 1/3 innings, while Hillson pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief for the Tigers.

Dinger struck out three and Hillson had four strikeouts in the game. Dinger allowed three hits and Hillson allowed three hits in the game.

Both teams had numerous chances, but the pitching worked out of jams.

Mansfield had two on in the first inning, a runner on in the fourth and fifth and the bases loaded in the sixth. The Tigers had two on in the seventh and the ninth innings, stranding runners on second and third in the final inning.

"We had our opportunities," Perry said. "They had their opportunities, we struck them down and we had our opportunities, but they kept us at bay."

Goretti had runners on base each of the first six innings of the game, stranding 11 runners in scoring position.

Hillson had two hits for Mansfield and Dinger, Joel Whitteker and Dylan Williamson all had hits.

When the year started the Tigers weren't even in Class AA, by the end of the year they were a run away from the state final four.

"This is a very resilient team, I am very proud of them, they worked hard all year," Perry said. "They didn't get down when it changed (from Class A to AA), and they came out and competed at obviously a little bit higher level, there are good teams at Class A to. They believed they could win today, and they believed they could win the next game and win a state championship, they just came up a little short."

While the season is over, most of the roster returns next year.

"We lose two seniors and they will be missed, obviously, but most of the guys are coming back and hopefully they grow. Last year we lost a tough game in the district final and we could tell they got more comfortable and confident this year.

"I would think it (this year) would build a large amount of confidence. They were disappointed in losing, but they knew they competed and I would think they are going to be ready to try and get back and go further next year."