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Faith in quarterfinals, CB East bows in states baseball


Runs are hard to come by in the postseason.

Two area teams can attest to that fact after playing a pair of 1-0 games on Monday in the opening round of the state tournament. Faith Christian won its Class A game. CB East lost its 6A game.

Faith Christian (20-0) no-hit District 11 champion Nativity BVM at North Schuylkill. Grayson Weikel fired six innings, fanning five and Reid Miller saved it. Miller also rapped a double to drive in the game’s lone run.

“It was throwing a lot of strikes. The most important pitch to every batter in baseball is strike one,” Faith head coach Nick Koffel stated. “Throwing a lot of strikes was beneficial.

“We played solid defense and made only one error,” Koffel continued. “This was a different game for us. In past games, we’d have 10, 12 or 14 strikeouts. We only had six yesterday. Solid defense behind the pitcher definitely played an important role.”

The Lions made their first foray into PIAAs since 2019. They did it on ample rest as Faith’s last game was 11 days prior.

Monday was Faith’s first win all season by less than three runs. Koffel conceded that there were some nerves entering the contest.

“Maybe there is some rust when you go from batting practice to the biggest game of the year,” Koffel speculated. “I think we did get some of the rust off and the nerves out. We’re heading in the right direction now.”

The Lions face District Two champion MMI Prep in Thursday’s quarterfinal at Walter Stump Stadium in Pine Grove.

CB East (17-8) lost at District Two/Four subregional champion Hazleton. Patriot Damian Frayne pitched well enough to win, holding the Cougars to just two hits in six shutout innings. But George Washington-signee Jonas Aponick matched him zero for zero, yielding only three hits to East. Hazleton walked off on an unearned run.

Standout third baseman Chase Harlan ended his East career with a single and a walk.

Monday marked the first 6A states tournament game that CB East had ever played. The Patriots finished in third place in District One after last Thursday’s 4-2 win over Plymouth Whitemarsh in the consolation game.

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