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Baseball: Latrobe wins rain-shortened PIAA championship

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White covered Thursday's PIAA Class 5A baseball championship between Latrobe and Whitehall.

Latrobe's Mason Petrosky tags out John Kaintz, right, and then Adin Hoderewski Whitehall during the 2017 PIAA 5A state baseball championship Thursday in University Park, Pa.(Photo: Latrobe's Mason Petrosky tags out John Kaintz, right, and then Adin Hoderewski of Whitehall during the PIAA 5A baseball championship in University Park, Pa. Antonella Crescimbeni/Post-Gazette)

"UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There was no dogpile after a final out. No wild celebration after a walk-off hit.

The Latrobe Wildcats could only celebrate after an announcement.

Game over. Latrobe champion. Then the Wildcats ran out of their dugout and slid on the wet tarp covering the field.

The PIAA Class 5A championship game Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park was called in the top of the sixth inning because of rain. The game was official and Latrobe won, 7-0."

 

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Baseball: 2017 PIAA Class 5A Championship Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

The game: PIAA Class 5A championship
The teams: Latrobe vs. Whitehall
Where and when: Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Penn State, Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Latrobe Wildcats
Record: 23-2
District finish: WPIAL champion
How they got here: (First round) Manheim Central, 5-4; (Quarterfinals) West Allegheny, 9-4; (Semifinals) Springfield-Delco, 2-1.
PIAA titles: None
Last time in final: First appearance
What you should know: Latrobe had been dubbed the "Cardiac Cats" because of its late-game heroics in the postseason, but the Wildcats surged into the title game for the first time by getting off to strong starts in their quarterfinal and semifinal wins. They scored five runs in the first inning against West Allegheny and tallied both of their runs in the second inning against Springfield-Delco. Jared Kollar and Ryan Shawley were the winning pitchers in those games, and they team with Zach Kokoska to give the Wildcats a wealth of pitching riches. Shawley fired a three-hitter in the semifinal victory, while Isaac Echard knocked in a run and later scored in that two-run second. The Wildcats are 6-0 in the postseason and are riding a 16-game winning streak.
Player to watch: Zach Kokoska. The Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year is unquestionably the big name in this game. A Virginia Tech recruit, Kokoska is projected to be an outfielder when he gets to college. He's an excellent hitter and often makes an impact as a relief pitcher, as well.

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Baseball: 2017 PIAA Class 5A Semifinal Preview

Written by Keith Barnes on .

The game: PIAA Class 5A semifinals
The teams: Latrobe vs. Springfield-Delco
Where and when: Greene Township Park, Scotland, Monday, 4:30 p.m.
Up next: Winner plays Wallenpaupack-Whitehall winner in the PIAA championship Thursday at Penn State at 5:30 p.m.

Latrobe Wildcats
Record: 22-2
District finish: WPIAL champion
How they got here: (First round) Manheim Central, 5-4; (Quarterfinals) West Allegheny, 9-4.
What you should know: This is the first time Latrobe has gotten this close to a state championship, which shouldn't be much of a surprise considering that the Wildcats had not been to a WPIAL championship game in more than 30 years and won the school's first title this season. Latrobe has been winning games in dramatic fashion, coming from four runs down to win a 5-2 decision over Manheim Central in the first round of the state tournament as part of a run of taking three of its first four postseason tilts with runs in either the sixth or seventh inning. Starting pitcher Jared Kollar hit 100 pitches in his last outing, but should be rested and ready to go in this one.
Player to watch: Senior Zach Kokoska was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year and has done nothing in the playoffs to damage his credibility. When he isn't beating teams with his bat, the center fielder has come on and done yeoman's work on the mound. In the win over West Allegheny, he got the last four outs and the save to preserve the win.

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Baseball: Latrobe's Kokoska selected as Pennsylvania player of the year

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White reports that Latrobe standout Zach Kokoska was named Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year on Tuesday.

"Latrobe High School baseball player Zach Kokoska will play for a WPIAL title Wednesday night, but he picked up a prestigious personal honor Tuesday.

Kokoska was named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year.

Kokoska, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior, plays outfielder and pitcher for Latrobe and has helped the Wildcats reach the WPIAL Class 5A title game. Latrobe will plays Mars at 8 p.m Wednesday at Wild Things Park in Washington. This is Latrobe's first title-game appearance since 1985. Kokoska takes a .565 batting average into the championship. He has five home runs and 27 RBIs.

As a pitcher, Kokoska has a 4-0 record and a 1.52 ERA, with 35 strikeouts in 23 innings."