By Phil Anastasia
John Straub pitched a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and Peyton Sorrels delivered a three-run double as Pennsville beat Bishop Eustace 7-2 on Sunday afternoon in a clash of South Jersey's No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Diamond Classic semifinals.
Straub, a junior right-hander, allowed two runs in the first inning and shut down Bishop Eustace over the final six innings.
He allowed just one hit in the final six innings and retired 16 of the final 17 batters.
"This is huge," Straub said. "They (BE) were the No. 1 team in the state and we wanted to show we mean business as a Group 1 school."
Pennsville, the No. 2 team in the rankings, improved to 23-1. The Eagles will face the Washington Township-St. Augustine winner in the Diamond Classic title game at 5 o'clock Sunday at Eastern.
No. 1 Bishop Eustace fell to 25-2.
"We had one bad inning," Bishop Eustace coach Sam Tropiano said. "A lot of the issues were our own undoing. We shot ourselves in the foot."
Sorrels, a junior third baseman, rapped a two-out, three-run double down the left-field line to give Pennsville a 3-2 lead in the second. The Eagles added four more runs as they delivered six consecutive two-out hits.
Josh Shimp had an RBI double, Eric Lankeneau an RBI single and Colin Rieger a two-run single in the rally.
"You have some days when you find some holes," Pennsville coach Matt O'Brien said.
Straub, who improved his record to 7-0, said he mixed his fastball with a curveball and changeup. He was hitting around 81 mph on a radar gun behind home plate with his best fastball.
"He was awesome," O'Brien said of Straub. "He wants the ball in big games."
Tropiano was impressed with Straub's performance.
"He's a battler," Tropiano said. "He's very stubborn. He lived at the knees."
Bishop Eustace 200 000 0 -- 2 3 1
Pennsville 070 000 x -- 7 12 0
WP: John Straub. LP: Justin Hagenman.
2B: P-Peyton Sorrels, Mitch Walker, Josh Shimp.
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