Slippery Rock beats Harbor Creek, 14-8, to advance to D-10 Class 4A Championship | Sports

Slippery ROCK – For the first time in five seasons, Slippery Rock is back in the District 10 Finals.

The Rockets scored 13 points over the last four innings to secure a 14-8 victory over Harbor Creek in the District 10 Class 4A semifinals at Jack Critchfield Park at Slippery Rock University Friday night.

“We’re really excited,” said rookie Brett Galcic. “We have been working hard since November with one goal in mind and that is the Zone 10 Championship. We can’t wait to get the chance to play for (the title).”

With the win, Slippery Rock – who won 14 of 15 from the start 3-4 – will meet Cathedral Prep for the D-10 Championship at 4 p.m. Monday at Mercyhurst University.

The Ramblers (20-2) doubled for the 16th time in 2022 with an 11-1 victory over Middleville.

“This is a well-deserved honor for these guys,” said first-year coach Derek Wood. “They’ve worked hard and they’ve been through a lot together, especially later in the year. These guys really believe. Their confidence is at an all-time high. It’s been fun training them and it’s very easy to train a team like this.

“We’re excited about this opportunity. At the beginning of the year, everyone wanted to talk about Hickory and everyone wanted to talk about Cathedral Prep and everything else going on in the area. If there’s anyone who can kill the Giant, it’s Cathedral Prep, it’s us. If you ask our boys, they’ll tell you we’re the Giant.” They’re going out there totally expecting to win, because they’re not going to hold back on anyone.”

Friday night, the Rockets (17-5) were playing with heavy hearts after the passing of Andrew “Booba” Masila’s reserve dad on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer.

“Today was a tough day for our boys,” Wood said. “The football team, the basketball team, and the baseball team went together to see Bubba’s dad. This is a tough request for a kid to be in a situation like this and you have to prepare yourself emotionally for a game like this.

“At our last meeting, Shane (Thompson) said ‘This is for Coach Mark.’ He impacted these kids’ lives long before I got here. He coached them and knew them since they were in diapers. Today was Coach Mark and Bubba. We are so excited to get Bubba back. On Monday we are very excited to play in the District Championship.”

Against pitchers Huskie Preston Lanagan and Heath Betza, Slippery Rock (17-5) watched each account start for a hit among 14 successes.

Junior Brett Galcic led the way with a home race, double, singles and five RBIs, while Nick Kingersky, Shane Thompson and Ethan Drushel all packed a pair of singles.

“As a coach, I can’t help but smile,” Wood said. “There’s nothing else you can say but the guys have worked hard to put themselves in a position to succeed. Our bats are definitely hot right now.”

“As far as we talk about hitting, Shane and Dylan (Gordon) – our 1-2 punches (on the hill) – have been great all year. Our promo gives us confidence to go out there and be free whores and not worry about anything else, because Shane and Dylan will take care of the business” .

After the teams swapped first-half numbers, Slippery Rock sent nine hits to the board, scoring four to give himself some breathing room with a 5-1 advantage. Kingerski and Drushel were responsible for the rock bands.

“We were a little flat at first, but it seems like when things get tough these guys start to bring it up,” Wood said. When the match is at its most important point when we move to the plate, apparently.”

In the sixth inning, Brett Galcic sent a rocket off the left fence in a three-way rally into the park as part of a four-way run and a 9-1 advantage.

“Once I got out of the box, I knew he wasn’t outside, so I was booking around the bases,” Galcik said. “I saw him roll over so I thought ‘I’m going for it. why not!’ I knew it would be close, for I saw their catcher and hitter behind me ordering them to come down. Fortunately, I did it.”

After a Husky tackle Rocket’s sixth in four with their own four, Slippery Rock scored five times in seventh to lead 14-5. Galcik’s second-stroke double highlighted the halftime for the Rockets.

“The coach always tells us ‘Don’t give up, keep your foot on their throat and don’t give up until the end of the game,'” Galcic said.

Notes: The Ramblers ended the Rockets’ season in the District 10 semifinals with a 7-2 victory at Erie’s UPMC Park on Memorial Day 2021. … Sal Mineo, Kingerski, Thompson and Drushel were signed up with the RBIs. …The Rockets scored two passing ball runs, two off-field runs and two off a Husky foul. …Ryan Vaughn (triple, singles, RBI), Eli Moon (double, singles) and Cameron Williamson (home run, two singles, four RBIs) line up Harbor Creek’s 10-hit offensive. …Dylan Gordon allowed eight runs in 10 strokes over 6 1/3 innings, while hitting four and walking one. …seven hits from Harbor Creek’s ten came off Gordon in the sixth and seventh innings. …Despite rain-like conditions for nearly half the match, the two teams combined in just three fouls.

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