ALMEDIA — Greenwood coach Mark Sherman was not surprised the home plate umpire did not call time when Reilly Taylor asked for it.
What surprised him, though, is what happened after Taylor stepped out of the box thinking he was going to be given time.
“I’ve never seen that before,” he said, referencing the winning run in Greenwood’s 4-3 win over Montgomery in the PIAA Class A baseball quarterfinals Thursday.
As Taylor stepped out of the box, Montgomery’s Brayden Strouse threw a 2-2 pitch into the dirt and it skidded past the catcher and to the backstop.
Isaac Myers, who was the courtesy runner for his brother Luke, took off from third and scored what would be the winning run in for the Wildcats.
“I told the guys that when you get to this level sometimes funny things happen,” said Sherman. “You’ve just got to be ready for everything.”
With the win, Greenwood (17-8) advances to the state semifinals Monday against Halifax at a time and place to be announced.
Montgomery got to Greenwood’s ace Luke Myers right from the start.
Hunter Budman drew a seven-pitch walk and Colby Springman singled to start the threat. After a Strouse bunt moved the runners, Trevor MIller delivered a sac fly to make it 1-0.
Luke Myers threw 64 pitches in the Wildcats’ win on Monday, and Sherman was keeping an eye on him.
“Luke wanted to throw today,” he said. “I just kept asking him if he was OK ,and he kept saying yes.
“It was a gutsy effort from him.”
For Luke Myers, it was all about getting settled in.
“I knew I could throw the entire game,” he said. “After the first inning, I just settled down. When we started to get on a roll, it was big for us.
“We haven’t been behind too much this year. We responded right away when they scored that run, and it just set the tone for the rest of the game.”
In the bottom of the first Bryce Dalpiaz walked, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. He later scored on a wild pitch.
Myers found his grove in the second as he struck out the side.
In the bottom of the second Avery Morder singled, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. Two batters later he scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Ethan Jezewski to make it 2-1.
The Red Raiders responded in the top of the third when Tyler Shadle reached on an error and scored on Budman’s RBI single. Springman singled to put runners on first and second with just one out, but Strouse hit a screaming grounder back at Myers, who fielded it cleanly and started a 1-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Myers helped his own cause with a leadoff single in the bottom of the third. After a walk to Aaron Bollinger, Aaron Morder delivered an RBI single that put runners at second and third with no outs. Montgomery stopped the bleeding as Shadle threw Bollinger out as he tried to score on a fly ball, and then starting pitcher Gage Yohn got a groundout to end the threat.
Montgomery tied the game one last time in the top of the fourth when Hayden Ross delivered an RBI double with two outs to make it 3-3. Ross was the last Red Raider to reach base.
With the score tied going into the bottom of the fifth, Myers started it off with a walk and his brother Isaac was inserted as the courtesy runner. Strouse, who came in with two outs in the fifth, got two strike outs before allowing back-to-back singles from Garrett Howell and Avery Morder.
With a 2-2 count, Taylor raised his hand for time and started to step out of the box. The umpire did not grant time, but it seemed to throw off Strouse he drilled a pitch into the dirt about two feet from home and three feet outside. The ball skipped to the backstop and it allowed the younger Myers to score.
“I just saw the ball get past, and I heard my coach scream, ‘Run,’” Isaac Myers said. “I didn’t know about the whole thing about calling time until I got into the dugout.
“I am just happy I was able to get into the game and do something. I am so happy it helped us win.”
Luke Myers retired the last 10 batters Montgomery sent to the plate as he closed out the game, and sent the Wildcats into the state semifinals.
“It is just a privilege to be able to play in the state semifinals,” said Sherman. “It was a great win and the kids worked hard for it.”
PIAA CLASS A QUARTERFINALS
at Central Columbia High School
GREENWOOD 4, MONTGOMERY 3
Montomery`101`100`0 — 3-5-2
Greenwood`111`010`X — 4-6-2
Gage Yohn, Brayden Strouse (4) and Vaughn Ault. Luke Myers and Bryce Dalpiaz.
WP: Myers. LP: Strouse.
Montgomery: Hunter Budman, single, run, RBI; Colby Springman, 2 singles; Hayden Ross, double, RBI; Trevor Miller, single.
Greenwood: Aaron Morder, 2 singles, RBI; Myers, single; Avery Morder, 2 singles, run; Garrett Howell, single, RBI.