PIAA baseball: Breaking down Pennsbury
Meet the projected starting lineup for Dallastown baseball. The Wildcats enter the state championship game against Pennsbury with a 20-game winning streak. Jim Seip, YDR
Dallastown's baseball team, winner of 20 straight games, is set to meet Pennsbury in the PIAA Class 6A Championship at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Penn State.
The Pennsbury Falcons, a public school near Philadelphia that plays in the Suburban One League, is 21-6 this season and has ripped off 12 straight wins in advancing to their first PIAA championship in school history.
Here's a look at Pennsbury.
How they got here
The District 1 champions defeated Central Bucks East (4-2), Downingtown East (5-4), Neshaminy (2-0) and North Penn (5-3) to capture the championship.
In the PIAA tournament, the Falcons beat District 11 runner-up Parkland, 2-1, in eight innings and then topped District 1 fourth-place finisher Perkiomen Valley, 3-0, in the quarterfinals.
The Pennsbury bats broke out in a 12-0 victory in five innings over District 11 champion Liberty in the semifinals.
Pennsbury is led by All-SOL first team pitcher Billy Bethel. The senior Chestnut Hill College recruit is 4-0 in the postseason with an ERA of 0.00, including 2-0 so far in the PIAA tournament.
He likely won't be starting for the Falcons on Friday after pitching in Monday's semifinal, although he will be available in relief as he didn't reach the 100 pitch threshold.
Friday's potential starter for Pennsbury is senior Ryan McCarty. McCarty, a second-team All-SOL second baseman, is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 25 2/3 innings pitched this year.
Pennsbury boasts six All-SOL infielders, led by first-team shortstop Justin Massielo. Massielo is hitting .395 with 13 RBI and four doubles this year.
They also have a pair of second-team all-stars in Bethel at third base and McCarty at second base. Bethel is hitting .268 with nine runs scored while McCarty is hitting .361 with 21 RBI, 14 runs scored and a home run.
Josh Tesark was also a third-team catcher; Nick Price a third-team third baseman; and Kyle Dear an honorable mention first baseman.
The Falcons boast three All-SOL outfielders, led by first teammer Vaughn Ward. Tyrone Hodges made the second team and Justin Ward made honorable mention.
Vaughn Ward is hitting .285 with 16 RBI while Hodges is hitting .295 with 25 runs scored. Justin Ward, used mostly as a pinch runner, has scored 13 runs this season.
You can add second team All-SOL designated hitter Dave Murphy to the mix. Murphy was a first-team all-star in 2016. Murphy is hitting .306 this season.
Pennsbury isn't an offensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination, having scored more than five runs just eight times this year. The Falcons scratch out runs and do so in bunches, evidenced by a 12-0 win in the state semifinals.
The District 1 champions also do not have an extra-base hit in the PIAA tournament, a testament to their ability to claw out runs.
The Falcons average four runs per game and have hit .307 as a team with 24 doubles.
It's an experienced bunch too, as the Falcons start seven seniors. Last year this team lost to eventual PIAA champion Boyertown in the District 1 tournament, 4-3, and has used that as fuel to its run.