Alden Mathes tossed 6 1/3 solid innings as the Marple Newtown baseball team secured a spot in the PIAA Class 5A championship game with a 1-0 win over West Allegheny on Tuesday. Mathes struck out 10 and gave up just two hits.
Sean Donnell scored the lone run on Luke Zimmerman’s groundout in the sixth. Zimmerman also recorded the final two outs on the mound to secure the victory.
The Tigers (24-2) will face Lower Dauphin (23-3), a 3-2 winner over Archbishop Carroll on Monday, at 6 p.m. Thursday at State College.
Marple Newtown will appear in its first state final since 2007, when they lost to Punxsutawney by a 5-4 margin.
“It means a lot to the team, school, and community,” said Marple Newtown head coach Mark Jordan. “We had a lot of support despite going against the western bracket. We’re taking the long road, but enjoying every minute. We’re excited to be representing the Central League and we’ll do our best to bring home a state title.”
The Tigers will send Zimmerman, who is 10-0 with an ERA of 0.71, to the mound on Thursday. The 6-foot, 215-pounder mixes a fastball, slider, curveball, and change-up.
Council Rock North fell to District 7 champion Canon-McMillan, 4-1, in the Class 6A semifinals.
The Indians took an early lead on Carson Shane’s RBI single in the second. But the Big Macs went in front for good on Brandon Rea’s two-run single in the third. Canon-McMillan tacked on two more runs in the fourth.
Council Rock North starter Eric Hoefer gave up all four runs over 3 2/3 innings. Ryan Stalker tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for the Indians (18-8), who beat Frankford and Cumberland Valley to reach the semifinals.
The Big Macs (20-5) will play Bensalem (23-3) in Friday’s championship game.
Dock Mennonite named Shea Neal as the new head coach of the girls’ varsity soccer team. Neal is a 2013 Dock graduate and was a lead player during her four years of playing soccer. The Dock teams she played on won a league title and two district championships, and she received all-state honors her senior year. She went on to play for East Stroudsburg University, where she received NSCAA All-American honors her junior and senior years.
“Coach Neal brings a passion for the game and excellent skills for being a teacher-coach,” said athletic director Tim Ehst. “Her enthusiasm and communication skills are at the center of her ability to connect with the players she coaches. Within the context of team, she looks to help each player develop a competitive mentality and skills to help them find soccer success. Coach Neal was an assistant coach last season and looks to build upon the relationships she established during that time.”