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Baseball: Blackhawk baseball keeping opponents at arms length

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Blackhawk baseball team.

2017 0602 Blackhawk Baseball(Photo: Blackhawk's Mick Dudo holds the team rock as he celebrates the Cougars' win against South Park in the WPIAL Class 4A championship Tuesday. Stephanie Strasburg/Post-Gazette)

"Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia was in a bit of a quandary when he set his lineup for the WPIAL Class 4A championship game.

He had his top pitcher, Andy McClymonds, rested and ready to take the mound against South Park, but instead opted for senior Jon Pence.

As it turned out, he made the right call as Pence went five shutout innings to pick up the win and McClymonds came on for a two-inning save as the Cougars won their first title since 2012 in a 3-0 victory against the Eagles Tuesday at Wild Things Park.

"We have four or five guys and it sometimes makes it more difficult because Pence was about done and you have McClymonds, who is 8-0, and you've got Mark Engel and Mike Turconi, who's been our closer all year," Amalia said. "You don't want to get too cute. We probably should have taken Andy out and just brought Turk in to close and even Johnny Nixon, but we feel like we have five pitchers that we can use at any time.""