Abington Heights was down to four outs in their District 2 Class AAA semifinal game against Valley View and were trailing the Cougars by two runs on Sunday afternoon.
Facing the prospect of elimination, the Comets rallied for two runs in the sixth inning and three in the ninth to win 6-3 and advance to the District 2 Class AAA title game against Berwick Monday at 7 p.m. at PNC Field.
After a double from Matt Heckman, Jimmy Fayocavitz reached on a error to score Heckman and cut the deficit to one run. The next batter, Tyler Ksiazek delivered an RBI single to tie the game.
“We’ve been really working on our hitting the last couple weeks,” Abington Heights head coach Bill Zalewski said. “It’s starting to come around and guys are starting to put the ball in play, and make things happen.”
Ksiazek replaced Abington Heights starting pitcher Dave Manasek, who allowed three runs on Friday before the game was delayed due to lightning in the area, and then suspended until Sunday, in the bottom of the fifth.
Ksiazek allowed three hits over five innings and struck out five batters. The junior worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth inning by inducing a pop up from Brandon Peters.
“He gave us a great performance,” Zalewski said. “He’s a gamer, he always bears down in certain situations. He knows how to pitch, he’s focused, stays relaxed on the mound and shows all the confidence in the world.”
Comets first baseman Justin Porpiglia drew a walk with one out in the top of the ninth. The next batter, Eric Salerno, lined a double into left field and after Zach Spangenberg reached on a base hit, Brad Smertz drove in courtesy runner Colin McCreary on a short ground ball and Salerno also scored on a throwing error. Matt Heckman added an insurance run with an RBI single.
Valley View struck first on Friday by scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning on RBI singles from Tom Aniska and Collin Ferguson. Courtesy runner Nate Seprosky scored on a fielding error.