(Photo: Riverside starting pitcher Rob Hardy allowed two runs and struck out six in 51/3 innings against North Star Monday at Shaler High School's Matulevic Field. John Heller / Post-Gazette.)
"Last year's Riverside PIAA championship team was a deep, balanced squad that overpowered its opponents en route to a state championship.
These are not those Panthers.
Riverside has had to scratch and claw on offense this season, but it hasn't mattered. The Panthers are once again one win away from claiming a PIAA title.
Riverside beat North Star, 6-2, at Matulevic Field at Shaler High School Monday to advance to the Class AA championship game Friday.
"It's just as great," senior pitcher Rob Hardy said. "I don't even know what to say about it."
Hardy, one of just three players returning from last year's championship squad, powered the Panthers (21-6) on the mound and at the plate Monday. He threw 51/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out six."