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PO baseball fall to West Shamokin

Philipsburg-Osceola Baseball vs. West Shamokin
D6 First Round

PHILIPSBURG – The Philipsburg-Osceola baseball team could not overcome Mountain League nemesis Central in a close playoff loss on May 22 in the District 6, 3-A semi-final.
The Red Dragons’ win prevented the Mounties from advancing into the 2017 PIAA State Tournament, but P-O nevertheless had a big playoff win in the first round that topped off a very successful season in Philipsburg.
The Mounties advanced into the semi-final with a wipe-out, 7-0 win over West Shamokin on May 19 at home in that first-round game.
Josh Earnest threw a five-hit shutout against the Wolves, striking out 10, walking just one, and not allowing a runner to reach third base all afternoon.
If that wasn’t enough, Earnest reached base all four times he came up to the plate. He hit a single, a double, and a triple, scored three runs, and knocked teammate Logan Williamson in with the Mounties’ first run in the game.
That run, in the end, turned out to be the winner and sent P-O into the game against No. 1 Central.
“I focus more on pitching the whole game,” Earnest said. “I got to make sure they’re scoreless. But I also go out and try to put the ball in play at least.”
Earnest did both of those things.
In the first inning, he came up to bat against Wolves’ ace Ben Vicini with Williamson on second and two outs. He set the tone with a sharp single to left that scored Williamson and put the Mounties on top, 1-0.
Brian Kephart added P-O’s second run in the second inning with an RBI double that scored Gage Coudriet and gave Earnest a two-run cushion.
Earnest then started things off in a big third inning that broke the game open. He led off with a double down the line in left field and scored almost immediately when Trey Shaw followed with another double.
After a long fly-out by Micah Martin, Coudriet drove in Shaw with a triple to the wall in center field. Two pitches later, a wild pitch by Vicini allowed Coudriet to score and P-O was sailing with a 5-0 lead.
While the Mounties were working on offense, Earnest was holding up his end on the mound as well. Earnest pitched out of a two-runner jam in the first inning which seemed to boost his confidence.
He then retired the next ten batters he faced in order, a streak that was broken by Drew Orlosky’s ground-ball single in the fifth.
“I just tried to relax (in the first inning), stay calm, and make them put it in play,” Earnest said.
Earnest didn’t allow Orlosky to advance past first base, but in the sixth, West Shamokin put two runners on with two outs after singles by Devin Fairman and Ben Vicini. What could have been a troubling inning was stopped short when Earnest got Brendon Mondi to fly out to center field.
Earnest then switched hats to offense and began a sixth inning rally that put the game away for the Mounties with a triple to deep left field. He scored when Shaw reached on an error to make it 6-0, and then Coudriet drove in Shaw with the final run of the game.
“We are just looking to get farther than we have the last couple years,” Earnest said about P-O’s playoff run. “Try to get the seniors farther than they’ve been.”

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