Baseball PIAA: Hazleton Area defeats Emmaüs in 6A; MMI Prep race ends in Class A

It took five innings for Hazleton Area to get the first hit in the States first round.

Bryce Molinaro wasn’t going to wait that long on Thursday.

Molinaro hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to set the tone for the Cougars’ 12-0 win over Emmaus in five innings in the PIAA Class 6A Quarterfinals at Stump Stadium in Pine Grove.

Nick Biasi hit a hit for the win while Brett Antolick hit his own two-run shot as the two finished with three RBIs.

Hazleton Area moved within two wins of a state championship, with the next step being Monday’s semifinals against District 11 champion Bethlehem Liberty with the site and time to be determined.

The Cougars did not allow a run in the state tournament. And in four postseason games, including the Class 6A District 2/4 Playoffs, they outscored their opponents 43-3.

After narrowly outscoring Coatesville 1-0 in the state opener, Hazleton Area wasted no time in picking up the pace in the batter’s box on Thursday.

Jatnk Diaz kicked off a run after the Molinaro home run to give the Cougars a 3-0 advantage before even handing the ball to Biasi.

The Cougars (22-1) quickly doubled their lead in the second inning on a triple RBI from Grant Russo and a pair of run sacrifices from Brett Antolick and Diaz.

Biasi delivered a two-run single in the fourth that made it 8-0. Antolick then homered in the fifth to spark another Cougars rally. Biasi hit another run into the frame before closing the door in the half to end the game early via the mercy rule.

It was Hazleton Area’s second win against District 11 runners-up Emmaus this season. The Cougars also beat the Hornets 9-0 in April.

CLASS A QUARTER-FINALS

Halifax 3, MMI Prep 1

Judah Miller played for Halifax, hitting a two-run home run in the third inning while taking the win on the mound in Game 1 of the doubleheader at Pine Grove.

The Preppers scraped an early 1-0 lead but couldn’t add more against the Wildcats. MMI Prep finished its season with a 7-15 record and the District 2 Class A Championship.

David Castro scored the Preppers’ only point late in the first after walking and eventually heading home on an error. Castro started on the mound and finished with 10 strikeouts in 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and six walks.

MMI finished with five singles for the match, with Heath Williams going 2 for 3.

Andrew Burns, Carson Valkusky and John Drobnock had the other hits for the Preppers, who struggled against Miller, as the Wildcats pitcher struck out 13 in six innings.

Halifax added an insurance run in seventh to reach the state semifinals for the third straight season, taking on District 11 Tri-Valley champion on Monday.

PIAA Class 6A Quarterfinals

Hazleton Zone 12, Emmaus 0

Hazleton`AB`R`H`BI Region

G.Russo c`3`2`2`1

Rossi lf`0`1`0`0

Antolick 2b`4`2`2`3

Molinaro ss`3`4`2`2

Bias p`3`0`2`3

L.Russo cf`3`1`3`1

Diaz 3b`2`0`1`1

Peter 1b`3`0`0`0

Lazar lf-c`3`0`0`0

Aponick rf`3`1`1`0

Guzman cr`0`1`0`0

Totals`27`12`13`11

Emmaus`AB`R`H`BI

ThePage p-lf`1`0`0`0

Gallagher cf`3`0`0`0

McEllroy lf-1b`3`0`0`0

Foley 1b-p`1`0`0`0

Latchford 2b`1`0`0`0

Williams 2b`1`0`0`0

Chiego c`1`0`0`0

Cook c`1`0`0`0

Alto ss`1`0`0`0

Wilson 3b`2`0`1`0

Deschenes rf`1`0`0`0

Schadler cr`0`0`0`0

Totals`16`0`1`0

Hazleton area`330`24 — 12

Emmaus`000`00 — 0

2B — Antolick, L. Russo, Molinaro; 3B — G. Russo; HOUR —Antolick, Molinaro

Hazleton Region`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Bias, W`5.0`1`0`0`6`10

Emmaus`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

LePage, L`1.1`6`6`4`2`1

Foley`1.2`2`2`2`2`0

Latchford`2.0`5`4`4`2`1

PIAA Class A Quarter-Finals

Halifax 3, MMI Prep 1

Halifax`AB`R`H`BI

J.Miller p-2b`4`2`2`2

I.Miller lf`3`0`0`0

Strohecker ss`2`0`0`1

Tyrell`4`0`1`0

Alvarez rf`2`0`0`0

RF terminals`0`0`0`0

Campbell 1b`2`0`0`0

Bay c`1`0`0`0

Stoneroad 3b`2`0`0`0

Kline cf`1`1`0`0

Bay cf`1`0`0`0

Totals`22`3`3`3

MMI Prep`AB`R`H`BI

Castro p-ss-1b`3`1`0`0

Burn ss-lf`3`0`1`0

Valkusky 1b-p`3`0`1`0

Yenchko cf`3`0`0`0

Williams 3b`3`0`2`0

McDermott dh`3`0`0`0

Kranyak 2b`2`0`0`0

Drobnock rf-1b`3`0`1`0

Winer c`2`0`0`0

Pedri cr`0`0`0`0

Totals`25`1`5`0

Halifax`002`000`1 — 3

Preparation MMI`100`000`0 — 1

2B – J. Miller; HOUR — J. Miller

Halifax`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

J.Miller, W`6.0`4`1`0`3`13

Strohecker, S`1.0`1`0`0`0`3

Preparation MMI`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Castro, L`5.2`2`2`2`6`10

Valkusky`1.1`1`1`1`0`0

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