Today, the quest to capture the PIAA championship continues for two area high school baseball teams that are still alive.
Conestoga will take on Red Land at Muhlenberg High School at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs, while Devon Prep faces Canton in the Class A quarterfinals at 4 p.m. at Walter Stump Stadium in Pine Grove.
Conestoga coach John Vogan talked about playing Red Land, a surprise winner over State College in the first round this past Monday.
"They have to be a very good team because State College was one of the favorites going into the tournament,' Vogan said. "We have not decided who is going to be our starting pitcher yet. We can go a few different ways. We are going to have to put the ball in play, play good defense and take advantage of any mistakes they make.'
Red Land will likely start Jeremy Hileman, who is 9-3 with a 1.36 ERA. The District 3 third-place Wildcats started the season 2-5 overall but have turned things around in a big way. Red Land's two main hitters are Zack Newmyer and catcher Ben Snyder. Newmyer is hitting over .400. This is Red Land's deepest run in the state tournament since 2008. They won a PIAA title in 1990.Pick: Conestoga knocked off District 3 champion Cedar Cliff in the first round and I look for the Pioneers to move on here with a 6-3 win.
Devon Prep rallied three different times from deficits to take out York Catholic in the opening round of the Class A tournament and things get tougher here for the Tide as they take on a Canton ballclub that has almost everyone back from last year's state runner-up team. Canton is one of the favorites to win the state title in Class A.
Devon Prep coach Mark Aquilante talked about how his team will approach their second round match up.
"They are a very good hitting team and they are a fastball hitting team,' Aquilante said. "We will start Pat Rohr on the mound and he is a fastball pitcher, but he keeps the ball down in the zone and really locates the ball well. He can really locate his fastball and we will let our defense make the plays behind him. Our defense is playing very well right now.
"Last year we made the quarterfinal round and we have to be ready for a big crowd for Canton, which really travels well. I think we were not ready for that kind of environment last year and I hope we are better prepared for that this time around.'Pick: Canton won their opening round game against Freeland, 11-1, in five innings. But Devon Prep has a lot of talent and should move on here with a 4-3 victory.