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Indians state title bid falls short

A 3-2 loss in extra innings ends PV's historic season

Pascack+Valley+starting+pitcher+Riley+Weis+before+a+game.+Weis+threw+6+innings+and+got+the+no-decision+in+PV%27s+3-2+extra+inning+loss+to+Cranford+in+the+Group+3+semifinals.
Pascack Valley starting pitcher Riley Weis before a game. Weis threw 6 innings and got the no-decision in PV's 3-2 extra inning loss to Cranford in the Group 3 semifinals.

Pascack Valley starting pitcher Riley Weis before a game. Weis threw 6 innings and got the no-decision in PV's 3-2 extra inning loss to Cranford in the Group 3 semifinals.

Smoke Signal File Photo

Smoke Signal File Photo

Pascack Valley starting pitcher Riley Weis before a game. Weis threw 6 innings and got the no-decision in PV's 3-2 extra inning loss to Cranford in the Group 3 semifinals.

Jake Aferiat, Sports Editor

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Perspective has been crucial for Pascack Valley baseball this season.

Whether it was the perspective that the Indians weren’t the underdogs against consensus state No. 1 St. Joe’s, or the perspective and magnitude of capturing the school’s first sectional title in 51 years, that perspective was tested on Tuesday at William Paterson University.

The Indians, winners of section North 1 Group 3, were facing off against North 2 Group 3 winners Cranford in the state Group 3 semifinals, and while the Cougars ultimately prevailed 3-2 in eight innings, Pascack Valley coach Will Lynch again put this loss into perspective.

“This loss should hurt a little bit, and that’s ok,” he said. “But this is a special baseball team We’ve won four league titles in a row, and with the county tournament and state sectional champs, anything that hasn’t been done in 50 plus years is a rarity.”

Cranford (21-7) struck first, and with two outs in the top of the third inning had back-to-back RBI singles to make it 2-0.

Then, the momentum swung in PV’s (22-5) direction.

Despite getting one-hit through 2.1 innings, starting pitcher Riley Weis helped his own cause and drew a one out walk to give the Indians a runner on first and just one out. Frank Cascio followed up with a single to move Weis to second and catcher Jack Devanna singled to score Weis, making it 2-1 Cranford.

Then PV left the bases loaded, which proved to be the downfall for the Indians, who stranded 10 runners on base and only mustered four hits.

“You’re not going to beat a team this late in the tournament if you only have four hits,” Lynch said. “Riley [Weis] pitched his butt off and we did what we could, and we had people in scoring position, but couldn’t punch anything across.”

Weis would eventually a sacrifice fly to score Alex Criscuolo and tie the game at 2.

And while Lynch was quick to acknowledge the lack of punch in the offense, he just as quickly praised Cranford and its ability to get the job done.

You have to hand it to them,” he said. “They made every play. The center fielder ran around out there like crazy out there.”

But while Lynch felt the Indians may have had their struggles at the plate, he also felt that they kept Cranford in check.

“We did a great job of stopping the bleeding a bunch of times,”. “They had guys [hitting] up and down. We did what we could.”

The Indians got one last chance when Carson Weis hit a two out infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning and then moved to second on a groundout by Austin Piorkowski.

However, a few pitches later, the Indians chances came to an end after a groundout to end the game.

And while Lynch admitted the loss will sting—but also that it needed to be looked at in perspective of the whole season, the aspect that needed the most perspective was graduating 13 seniors and the void that will leave.

“Most importantly, they are really just a good bunch of kids. I love them. I really do,” he said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Indians state title bid falls short”

  1. Darren Cooper on June 7th, 2017 4:49 pm

    Great story, great job. The Smoke Signal really knows what’s up.

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Indians state title bid falls short