Golden Tide’s Season Ends With 5-1 Loss in 9-AA Semifinal

BUTLER — Defending Class AA champion and No. 2 seed Karns City cut short Curwensville’s first venture into the District 9 Baseball Playoffs in four years by riding Matt Yough’s right arm to a 5-1 win over the Golden Tide at Kelly Automotive Park Thursday afternoon.

The Gremlin junior fashioned a four-hitter with four strikeouts and only one walk in the 9-AA semifinal.

The third-seeded Golden Tide had Yough on the ropes in the first inning, but they couldn’t land the big punch and never had another scoring opportunity until the Gremlins had done all their damage at the plate.

“It was kind of a microcosm of our season,” Curwensville coach Denny Johns said. “We had second and third with one out and the bases loaded with two outs and just couldn’t crack the scoreboard.

“Then, Yough got very tough. He sat us down in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. He definitely was one of the better pitchers we’ve seen this year.”

Tanner Elensky and Tyler Mays were the only Golden Tide batters to solve Yough.

They posed the early threat with back-to-back singles and then combined to spoil the shutout in the sixth frame.

Elensky led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Mays’ second hit.

Golden Tide right-hander Kyle Johns had matched goose eggs with Yough for three innings.

“Kyle was throwing well and it was one of those games where you felt the first team to score would be in the driver’s seat,” coach Johns said. “Unfortunately, it was them.”

Unlike Curwensville, Karns City capitalized on its initial threat.

After Nate Weckerly walked, Tyler Kepple bunted for a hit and they pulled off a double steal, Yough doubled to right center for what turned out to be the game-winning hit. Zach Moore followed with a single to make it 3-0.

The Gremlins, who charged into the postseason on a seven-game winning streak, padded the margin in the fifth, one run scoring on a passed all and the other on Moore’s double, his third hit.

Karns City (13-2) will attempt to repeat by avenging one of its losses in the title game Wednesday. No. 1 seed Moniteau, the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference champion, rallied for all its runs in the seventh inning to beat the Gremlins 4-2 on April 20. Karns City’s other loss was 11-1 to Vincentian Academy, the No. 3 seed in the District 7 (WPIAL) Class A Tournament.

Kyle Johns struck out four, walked three and gave up six hits before being relieved by classmate Brett Gardner with two outs in the fifth frame. Gardner allowed just one hit and had one strikeout in one-plus innings.

“It was a good ball game and we played well,” coach Johns said. “We just got beat by a better team.

“We’re disappointed because we really wanted that district championship this year.”

Especially seniors Elensky, Mays, Johns, Gardner, Alex Olson and Ricky Magnuson.

“Tanner, Brett and Kyle have been playing a lot since they were freshmen, and Olson and Magnuson have been a big part of the varsity for three years,” coach Johns said. “Mays came back after missing two years because of injuries.

“Those six guys certainly were the cornerstones of this year’s team and will be sorely missed.”

Their leadership was instrumental to the Golden Tide’s rebound from an 0-4 start for a late-season run to the playoffs that ended with four wins in three days during the final week.

“I said a number of times I felt this was a special group that had what it takes to overcome the hole we placed ourselves in early in the season,” coach Johns said.

The Moshannon Valley League champion Golden Tide finished 10-10.

CURWENSVILLE — 1

Tanner Elensky ss 3120, Tyler Mays c 3021, Jake B. Stiles 3b 2000, Brett Gardner 2b-p 3000, Kyle Johns p-rf 2000, Ricky Magnuson 1b 3000, Alex Olson lf 3000, Noah Strickland rf 2000, Jake Terry 2b 0000, A.J. Bloom ph 1000, Travis Lansberry cf 2000.  TOTALS: 24  1  4  1.

KARNS CITY — 5

Nate Weckerly c 1100, Tyler Kepple ss 2110, Matt Yough p 2212, Zach Moore lf 3032, Mike Riley 1b 2000, Alessandro Marotto 3b 3000, Dillin Geibel rf 1000, Tyler Dunn ph 1010, Wyatt Everetts cf 3000, Evan Stitt 2b 3110.  TOTALS: 21  5  7  4.

Score by Innings

Curwensville    000 001 0 – 1  4  2
Karns City        000 320 x – 5  7  0
E – Johns, Magnuson. PB – Mays 1; Weckerly. DP – Curwensville 1 (Johns, Magnuson and Gardner). LOB – Curwensville 4; Karns City 4. 2B – Yough, Moore. Sac – Jake B. Stiles; Weckerly, Kepple. SB – Weckerly, Kepple, Moore 2, Dunn 2.

Pitching

Curwensville – Johns 4-2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K; Gardner 1-1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
Karns City – Yough 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
W – Yough. L – Johns (3-3).

Golden Tide Final Scoreboard:

Date Opponent Score Record
3/24 JOHNSONBURG ppd. 0 – 0
3/26 @ DuBois Central Catholic ppd. 0 – 0
3/28 CLARION susp. – 1st 0 – 0
3/31 BROOKVILLE 1 – 7 0 – 1
4/02 CLARION 0 – 10 0 – 2
4/03 @ Harmony ppd. 0 – 2
4/04 JOHNSONBURG ppd. 0 – 2
4/07 @ Kane ppd. 0 – 2
4/09 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 1 – 3 0 – 3
4/11 @ West Branch ppd. 0 – 3
4/14 @ Brockway ppd. 0 – 3
4/16 @ Ridgway ppd. 0 – 3
4/17 @ Punxsutawney 1 – 4 0 – 4
4/21 MO VALLEY 8 – 4 1 – 4
4/23 @ Johnsonburg 2 – 3 1 – 5
4/25 @ West Branch 9 – 6 2 – 5
4/26 JOHNSONBURG 9 – 5 3 – 5
4/28 DUBOIS CENTRAL 0 – 5 3 – 6
5/01 @ Kane ppd. 3 – 6
5/02 @ Glendale 8 – 2 4 – 6
5/05 KANE 9 – 7 5 – 6
5/07 @ Elk County Catholic 0 – 10 5 – 7
5/08 @ DuBois Central 4 – 10 5 – 8
5/10 @ Kane 11 – 4 6 – 8
5/12 BROCKWAY 5 – 3 7 – 8
5/12 BROCKWAY 4 – 5 7 – 9
5/13 @ Harmony 14 – 2 8 – 9
5/14 RIDGWAY 11 – 1 9 – 9
5/14 RIDGWAY 6 – 0 10 – 9
District 9 AA Playoffs
5/22 @ Karns City 1 – 5 10 – 10
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