RED LION — On almost any given day, 10 strikeouts through six innings of work gets the job done.
That was Penn State University commit Tommy Molsky for the Northern baseball team in Monday’s PIAA Class 5A first round matchup against the Black Hawks of Bethel Park.
But when Black Hawk ace Evan Holewinski hurls a complete game while allowing only one run on four hits, those 10 wring-ups don’t quite fit the bill as Bethel Park bested the Polar Bears 5-1 at Red Lion High School.
“I had most of my control beginning on, got a little hot and sweaty later on in the game, lost a little bit of control, but it felt like I had all my stuff and I got them on a lot of sliders and trying to keep up with my fastball,” Molsky said of his performance on the mound.
The Black Hawks got to Molsky early, jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first with Cody Geddes’ RBI single. They added another tally to the scoreboard in the fourth on a sac fly from Zack Sackett before Sackett scratched across another pair of runs in the sixth on a two-bagger. Bethel Park concluded its scoring in the seventh with Eric Chalus plating Jason Nuttridge on an RBI single.
Molsky’s final line went to the tune of six frames, eight knocks permitted on four earned runs, one free pass and 10 strikeouts. John Noll tossed the final inning, scattering two hits, one earned run and punching out one Black Hawk.
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The Polar Bears four hits came from four different batters as Alec Welshans, Tanner Merovich, Kade Kitts and Nathan Harlacker each slashed a single. Harlacker was responsible for the lone RBI in the seventh stanza, which plated Welshans.
By the numbers
Despite what the box score says — which includes 10 knocks for the Black Hawks — Bethel Park struggled to make solid contact off Molsky across his six innings of work. The Hawks hugged the right field foul line all game, dropping four hits in that direction. Three of the five runs for Bethel Park came in the form of a bloop single and double.
“There were just some lucky hits down the line,” Molsky said. “And sometimes a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, so hats off to them.”
The 5-1 defeat ends the Polar Bears’ season at 20-7.
Bethel Park (19-4) will face the winner of Southern Lehigh and Muhlenberg in Thursday’s Class 5A quarterfinals.
They said it
Molsky on his six innings of work: “I was doing my part as best I could out there. I showed up today ready to play, ready to give it my all — not only for my teammates, for our whole town that shows up here and comes out. We support one another, so I mean it’s hard, it’s not fun.”
Molsky on what Northern baseball has meant to him these past four years: “I grew up in Dillsburg with two brothers who played baseball their whole lives, and I’m the last one. Seeing all the support — it wasn’t just me and my teammates. It was me, my teammates, my family, the entire town of Dillsburg. I mean, it’s going to be something I miss for sure. It’s been a big impact on my life.”
Email Jake Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520