UNIVERSITY PARK — Abington Heights entered the PIAA Class 3A baseball championship game on a 15-game winning streak.
Despite a positive start, Knoch starting pitcher Cole Shinsky made sure the streak wouldn’t reach 16.
Shinsky, a junior, scattered eight hits over seven innings to lead Knoch past Abington Heights, 7-5, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Friday afternoon.
Abington Heights struck for two runs in the top of the second inning. After Eric Salerno singled, Zach Manasek walked, and Jimmy Fayocavitz reached on a fielder’s choice, Zach Spangenberg drove in two runs with a single.
Knoch answered with four runs in the bottom of the second. Asa Adams singled and scored on an error, Dominick Bucko drove in a run with a walk, Chris Law reached on a fielder’s choice and drove in a run, and Shinsky delivered an RBI single for the Knights.
Garrett Traggiai came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning to stretch Knoch’s lead to 5-2.
Abington Heights bounced back with three runs to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Campbell drove in a run with a single and Tyler Ksiazek knocked in two with a triple.
“They worked hard to get those runs back when we were down 5-2,” Abington Heights head coach Bill Zalewski said. “It just shows how much heart and determination they have as a team.”
Ksiazek entered the game on the mound for the Comets in the bottom of the fourth inning and allowed just one hit before Knoch broke through for two runs with two outs in the sixth inning. Bucko began the rally with a triple and Law followed with an RBI single.
Shinsky also drove in his second run of the game during the inning.
Despite the loss, Zalewski praised his team’s effort in this game and throughout the season.
“They played their hearts out and were just so much fun to be around,” he said. “As the year progressed, they became a tighter and tighter group. It just shows what you can do when you have heart and come together as a group.”
Ksiazek also reflected on the Comets season which ended with a 18-4 record.
“It was just an unbelievable experience,” Ksiazek said. “A once in a lifetime opportunity. Even though things didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, I think we’re going to take this experience with us for the rest of our lives.”