ALTOONA — Good morning everybody, we’re live from beautiful Blair County Ballpark for today’s PIAA Class AA baseball final between Bermudian Springs (20-7) and Martinsburg Central (17-10). Start time is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
We’ll have plenty of updates to follow for those of you who can’t make it out to the ballpark, so stay tuned.
1:33 — Thanks for tuning in everybody. Hope you enjoyed our live coverage. We’ll have plenty of updates throughout the summer on The Varsity Beat, so make sure you check back. And check out GameTimePA.com for all the coverage from today’s PIAA baseball final.
12:46 — It’s all over. Emlet strikes out the side, and Bermudian wins the Class AA state baseball championship, 5-3, over Martinsburg Central. Emlet fall to his knees as his teammates mob him. What a scene.
12:38 — Bermudian goes down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Indeed, it is Emlet going out to the mound. Let’s see if he can close it out…
12:34 — Emlet crusing now. He’s retired nine of his last twelve, and allows only a walk in the sixth. The Eagles head into the seventh up 5-3. Three outs now from a state championship.
As I type, Mike Thoman has gone down to the bullpen to warm up. Be interesting to see if they try to let Emlet finish this one out. He’s cruising, but is up to 95 pitches by my unofficial count.
12:23 — The Dragons commit their fourth error of the game, when Trent Forshey’s relay throw on a double-play ball is wild. That allows Jason Cline to score and put Bermudian up, 5-3.
12:16 — And we have our first pitching change. Tyler Ferguson comes out of Martinsburg Central with two on and one out in the sixth. C.J. Gahagan moves in from third base to pitch.
Ferguson’s line (he’s responsible still for the two on base): 5 1/3 innings, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 6 Ks, 4 BBs.
12:10 — More good work from Emlet. He uses a double-play ball to get out of the fifth unscathed and send the Eagles to the top of the sixth up, 4-3. Emlet has 81 pitches so far, and there has yet to be any activity in the Berm bullpen.
12:01 — Nate Emlet with his best inning in the bottom of the fourth. He allows only a seeing eye single to help Berm preserve its tentative lead.
In the top of the fifth, Ferguson needs just nine pitches to sit the Eagles down 1-2-3. The lefty has six strikeouts so far.
11:49 — Not how the Eagles drew it up, but they’ll take it. The Dragons commit a trio of errors in that fourth inning, and Berm also uses a hit-by-pitch and a walk to retake the lead, 4-3. The Eagles didn’t have a hit that inning.
11:32 — Back and forth we go. Martinsburg Central plates two in the third, on an RBI double by Casey Hamilton and a run-scoring, two-out single by Trent Forshey. Lots of hits by both team. Don’t thing the scoring is done yet.
11:23 — The Eagles produce another two-out rally. Colton Forbes forces a walk (on a questionable 3-2 call by the umpire), Kevin McManama taps an infield single and Nate Emlet singles through the left side to score Forbes. Berm up 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third.
11:13 — Both pitchers settle down that inning. Lefty Tyler Ferguson has allowed four hits for Martinsburg Central, but is throwing strikes. Both he and Emlet have three strikeouts. Still 1-1 after two.
11:01 — Dragons answer right back with a towering home run by C.J. Gahagan on a 1-1 fastball from right-hander Nate Emlet. It’s 1-1 after one inning.
10:51 — Big break for Bermudian in the bottom of the first. Some confusion among the Dragons defense leads to Jason Cline’s short fly ball to right falling for a double, and with two outs, Colton Forbers rips a 1-1 fastball up the middle for an RBI single. Eagles lead 1-0.
10:38 — Starting lineups up now. The lower bowl at the park is pretty much filled. Lots of fans here, and both contingents are clad in red. Martinsburg probably has a few more fans, but then again they should. The school is just 30 minutes away.
10:20 — Martinsburg Central won the coin toss this morning, meaning they will be the home team.
They’ve just announced the start time for today’s game has been delayed ten minutes to accommodate the long of fans assembled outside. I arrived here at 9:30 this morning, and already there were throngs of fans assembled outside the ballpark.
10:14 — It’s really a perfect morning for baseball. The sun in shining and the big white roller coaster beckons in right field. If you’ve never been the Blair County Ballpark, it’s an absolute gem. Not to mention quite spacious … the press box is especially high up (not that I’m complaining, of course).
Here are the lineups for both teams:
Bermudian: CF Chris Davis, 2B Jason Cline, 1B Dan Dennison, DH Colton Forbers (hitting for RF Cody Myers), C Kevin McManama, P Nate Emlet, SS Mike Thoman, 3B Mike Moore, LF Nolan Spahr.
Martinsburg: LF Pat Schon, SS Casey Hamilton, 3B C.J. Gahagan, 2B Trent Forshey, 1B Jared Baird, C Nate Reid, DH Dustin Brooks (hitting for P Tyler Ferguson), RF Eric Keefer, CF Ryan Slagenweit.