Logan Hile has repeatedly proven the type of competitor he is — both on the mound and in life — over the past four years.
Hile picked up the victory in the Selinsgrove’s first-ever state playoff victory against Kennard-Dale, then pitched six strong innings to send Selinsgrove into the state final.
So Friday afternoon, Hile had a front row seat at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park when the Seals beat Beaver for the PIAA Class 4A title.
Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy afternoon for the Seals lefty.
“It was definitely tough having to watch this game and not playing in this game. I had confidence in our team,” Hile said. “I felt like I did my part, as much as I could, to get us here.
“I’m just glad to be part of this day.”
His coach knew how badly Hile wanted to be on the mound Friday as well.
“I could sense it; even when the game was over, I could sense it,” Selinsgrove coach Brett Beiler said. “I told him, ‘Logan you got us here. You pitched all the big games, except this one. You got us here, you just couldn’t pitch this one.’”
However, one big boost for Hile in his bench purgatory wass the closeness the Seals developed in their surprising postseason run, especially after dropping their final three games of the regular season.
“I don’t know if I thought we’d be a state championship team,” Hile said. “After we won the district championship game, it just seemed to click for us.
“We just got closer (as a team) as the postseason went on.”
That confidence could have been tested late in the state title game. After holding down an offense that hadn’t scored fewer than the five runs it scored in its district opener, Beaver began a rally in the top of the seventh inning, loading the bases, chasing starter Blaise Zeiders, and leaving the state gold medal in the hands of a freshman — Ryan Reich.
Hile was in the same situation in Tuesday’s semifinal.
“It was definitely nerve-racking in the dugout in the seventh inning, a six run-lead,” Hile’s voice trailed off for a second, “but we got the job done.”
Hile went 8-2 this season with a team-leading 0.88 earned run average in a team-high 69 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 93 and walked 22 hitters this season.