HUGHESTOWN >> Throughout the playoffs, the Chambersburg baseball team took advantage of its opportunities.
But on Wednesday at the Pittston Primary Center, the Trojans didn't, and Wyoming Valley West did, enabling the Spartans to capture a 4-0 victory in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.
"That's baseball," said Chambersburg assistant coach Matt Carr, who was filling in for coach Bob Thomas because of a family illness. "They came through with the hits when they needed them, and we didn't quite make the plays when we had our chances."
The biggest example came in the bottom of the fifth inning. After the Spartans (15-1) led off the inning with a single, leadoff batter Justin Montalvo hit a bouncer back to pitcher Tristan Daywalt. He snagged the ball and quickly fired the ball to second, but Drew Betz mishandled the throw and both runners were safe. Then, after a strikeout, Ryan Hogan laced a two-run triple into rightfield.
"You can never assume a double play, but that was as clean as it gets right there," Carr said. "If we make that play, it's probably still 2-0 and it's a whole different game."
Wyoming Valley West coach John Milus said, "We put our bats on the ball at the right time, and Ryan came up with a big hit there. He's been doing that for us his whole career."
Both teams finished the game with six hits, and Chambersburg, which ends its season with a 15-10 record, had plenty of chances. It stranded seven runners on base, hit into a double play with a pair of runners on base and was also caught stealing three times. The Trojans had a runner on base in six of the seven innings.
"Give them some credit, they came to play," Trojan shortstop Carlin Christian said, "I don't know if it was the bus ride, but we just didn't seem ready to go. But that's no excuse. They made the plays and we didn't today."
Chambersburg's best chances to score came in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Christian and Matt Stonesifer both hit one-out singles, and Betz followed with a sharp ground ball to third. But Logan Zavado made a great play on the ball, touched third and threw to first for a double play.
Then in the sixth, Austin Suders, who finished 2-for-3, and Hunter Brindle led off the inning with singles, but after a strikeout and a flyout, Suders was caught too far off the base at second and was picked off.
Spartan pitcher Bill Gregory, who improved to 6-0, gave up no runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
"We came in feeling like we were being overlooked a little bit," Gregory said. "We came out motivated, my defense made some great plays behind me and we were able to get the key hits when we needed them."
Daywalt also pitched a strong game for the Trojans. He gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
The loss ends a bit of a surprise season for Chambersburg. It hovered around .500 for most of the season, but got hot toward the end, going into districts as the No. 10 seed and finishing runner-up in the tournament. The Trojans also won their 70th District 3 playoff game in a game against Warwick, which is the most in District 3.
"I think we beat ourselves in a few games, but we really came together and finished strong," Christian said.
Carr said, "We got hot at the right time, but ran into a pair of teams in Hempfield and these guys that were a bit hotter."
NOTES >> Chambersburg was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position ...Wyoming Valley West opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the third inning on three hits and two walks ... Montalvo and Justin Vought both had RBI singles in the frame ... The Spartans will face St. Joseph Prep at Easton on Thursday at 4 p.m. in a quarterfinal.
Wyoming Valley West 4 Chambersburg 0
ChambersburgWV WestabrhbabrhbChrstian ss4010Montlvo cf3111Stonesifr cf1010Lupole ss2000Betz 2b3000Hogan c3012Suders dh3020Vought dh3011Crbaugh rf0000Popson 2b0000Brindle 1b3010Gregory p3000Fiegl 3b2010Raitter rf3010Daywalt p2000Baron lf3110Brookens lf3000Ynksky 1b2000Ebersole c3000Zavada 3b3210Totals24060Totals25464
Chambersburg0000000—0Wyo. Vall. West002020x—4
E: Chbg 2, WVW 1; LOB: Chbg 7, WVW 6; 3B: Hogan; SB: Baron; CS: Christian, Stonesifer, Suders.
Daywalt (L, 6-1)564323Betz100003
WV West pitching
Gregory (W, 6-0)760045Daywalt pitched to one batter in the sixth.