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Serra Catholic wins first PIAA title

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After one inning: Serra Catholic 1, Reading Central Catholic 0

Serra’s Alain Girman hit a two-out bouncing ball to shortstop, which should have been the third out, but Reading Central Catholic’s Michael Bean threw the ball away. The error allowed Chris Miller to score.

After two innings: Serra Catholic 1, Reading Central Catholic 0

Girman’s fastball has been topping 90 mph on the radar gun here at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. After allowing a one-out triple, Girman struck out the next two batters.

After three innings: Serra Catholic 1, Reading Central Catholic 0

What makes Girman’s fastball even harder to handle is the mid-60s curveball he throws very well. A few RCC batter have been tied up trying to guess on pitches.

With two outs, Serra’s Matt Loftis was hit by a pitch and then stole second. RCC chose to intentionally walk catcher Chris Miller (an Akron recruit), and instead pitched to Girman. Girman hit a long flyball caught by right fielder Andrew Hoffa. It was an excellent catch by Hoffa.

After four innings: Serra Catholic 1, Reading Central Catholic 0

Serra batters 5-6-7 retired in order. This Serra team was the first in PIAA baseball playoff history (which began in 1977) to reach three consecutive state championship games. The first two trips were losses but both of those were at Altoona’s Blair County Ballpark. This time, the title games are at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

After five innings: Serra Catholic 4, Reading Central Catholic 0

It will be scored as a triple, but Matt Loftis never stopped running until he reached home. Loftis hit a ball to the base of the wall in right field, and chose to stretch an easy double into a triple. The relay throw to third was off line, allowing Loftis to score. Dylan Kugler also scored on Loftis’ triple. Earlier in the inning, Brandon Coddington singled and scored.

RCC’s 7-8-9 hitters are 0 for 6 with six strikeouts.

After six innings: Serra Catholic 4, Reading Central Catholic 0

Girman has struck out 12, including the past six.

After seven innings: Serra Catholic 4, Reading Central Catholic 0

Girman finishes off the game with a strikeout, and the team piles on top of him. Outstanding game by the junior lefty.

– Chris Harlan (charlan@triblive.com)

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