BROOKVILLE — It has been a season where there have been triumphs, sadness, highlights and disgust for the Curwensville Golden Tide when it comes to the baseball diamond. Tom Harzinski and his team began the year with high aspirations, especially since the last few years have been a struggle for the team.
This year, things got rolling early, and the momentum never lifted.
A ten-win season that saw dominance, comebacks, and even some extra inning thrillers, led the Tide to capture the Moshannon Valley League title, and were heading to the post season and more baseball as the school year drew to a close.
The playoff run for Curwensville was to begin on Tuesday, but the intense downpours that came overnight and lasted into the late hours of the morning made field conditions for their playoff game against the Brookville Raiders entirely unplayable. In fact, every District IX contest no matter what class they were in, both baseball and softball, got postponed because of the weather.
Another major downpour Tuesday night made things even more of a challenge, but the officials at McKinley Field had the dirt and the grass in prime condition thanks to a lot of effort, and finally it was time to get things going on the road to a championship.
For the Tide, that road became bumpy, and impassible. After scoring double-digit runs in three of their last five games, they were held without a hit nor a run in their regular season finale. When they came to Brookville, the hits and the runs increased. The problem was, they were outmatched by the team hosting the game.
Brookville’s offense got on the board early, and never looked back. Curwensville’s hopes for a playoff run came to a halt, along with their season, in a 5-1 loss to the Raiders.
The Raiders elected to go with sophomore Aaron Park on the mound, who had accumulated three wins and four losses in his eight appearances to that point. To counter, the Tide decided to dispatch their best pitcher to start its playoff hopes, senior Bryce Timko, who in eight appearances had an undefeated 6-0 record.
What surprised many was the statistics that Park finished the afternoon with would be something many Tide fans were familiar with each time Timko stepped to the mound. Park went the entire game, finishing with just five hits allowed, and dealing 12 strikeouts compared to one walk.
Timko, on the other hand, seemed to have a bit of a struggle on this afternoon.
His afternoon only went three and a third innings, only striking out three batters, but walking seven, in what ultimately was his only loss of the season, and also his final game of his high school career.
Brookville got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs recorded on the, both Chase Palmer and Brady Caylor walked to put runners on first and second. Seth Dunkle then came to the plate, and on a 1-2 pitch, almost cleared the bases. The ball went deep into left field, and took a hard bounce past Jake McCracken, making its way over the wall for a ground-rule double that brought Palmer to the plate, giving the first lead of the game to Brookville, and ultimately the only lead change in the game.
The fourth inning was the disaster inning for Curwensville, as three runs crossed the plate. Palmer scored on a wild pitch, while Caylor and Dunkle each crossed home plate on an error, increasing the lead to 4-0.
After just 3.2 innings, Timko was pulled from the mound, and the shift was on. He went to left field, McCracken then moved to center. Josh Terry went from center field to short stop as Noah VonGunden came from that position to the pitcher’s mound.
Things did not change much as in the bottom of the fifth inning, Trenton Gilhousen scored the final run for the Raiders on an RBI-single by Park. The 5-0 lead gave Brookville the insurance runs it needed with two innings remaining to achieve victory.
Curwensville managed to get its lone run in the top of the seventh as Timko came home on a groundout by Christian Bakaysa. Unfortunately at that point, that recorded the second out of the inning, and left Jeremiah Farley hoping to at least get a runner on base to potentially extend the game a little longer.
But, Park was still on the mound, and he caught Farley swinging on three pitches to close out a dominant win, and finish off Curwensville’s season.
The Tide finished the year with a record of 10-9, their first winning season in three years, and also bring back a championship to Curwensville in their league. Although wishing the year could go a bit longer, there is a lot of hope for this team going forward, as the program has rebuilt and come back strong, ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Brookville will now take on Brockway, who defeated Coudersport to move on, in the Class 2A semifinal. Brookville as the No. 3 seed will host the game as Brockway was the No. 7 seed in the bracket.
SCORE BY INNING
Curwensville 000 000 1 – 1 5 2
Brookville 010 310 X – 5 8 0
Curwensville – 1
VonGunden SS/P 2000, Evans 2B 3000, Francisco C 3000, Timko P/LF 3130, McCracken LF/CF 3010, Brewer 1B 3010, Bressler CR 0000, Bakaysa RF 3001, Farley 3B 2000, Heitsenrether PH 1000, Terry CF/SS 2000. TOTALS 25 1 5 1.
Brookville – 5
Caylor 2B 3131, Daisley CR 0000, Dunkle SS 4111, A. Park P 2010, T. LaBenne 1B 3000, Lyle C 3010, C. LaBenne RF 2000, T. Park 4000, Gilhousen DH 3010, Mackins C 1100, Palmer 3B 2210, Minor CR 0000. TOTALS 27 5 8 2.
E: Farley (2). 2B: Dunkle, Gilhousen. SB: Lyle.
Curwensville: Timko-3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 SO, 7 BB; VonGunden-2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO, 1 BB.
Brookville: A. Park-7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 12 K, 1 BB.
WP-A. Park (4-4). LP-Timko (6-1).
Golden Tide Final Scoreboard:
Date Opponent Score Record
3/23 @ Broadalbin-Perth, NY 1 – 2, 8 inn. 0 – 1
3/24 @ Friends Select School, PA 9 – 2 1 – 1
3/27 BROCKWAY ppd. 1 – 1
3/29 @ Punxsutawney ppd. 1 – 1
4/05 @ Elk County Catholic ppd. 1 – 1
4/06 @ West Branch 3 – 0 2 – 1
4/09 @ Johnsonburg ppd. 2 – 1
4/10 ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 5 – 3 3 – 1
4/14 JOHNSONBURG 2 – 5 3 – 2
4/14 JOHNSONBURG 5 – 0 4 – 2
4/16 @ Glendale ppd. 4 – 2
4/17 @ Kane ppd. 4 – 2
4/19 @ DuBois Central Catholic 3 – 0 5 – 2
4/20 PUNXSUTAWNEY 1 – 2 5 – 3
4/23 CLEARFIELD 2 – 7 5 – 4
4/24 @ Brockway 3 – 7 5 – 5
4/26 MO VALLEY 1 – 0 6 – 5
4/30 BROCKWAY 3 – 1 7 – 5
5/01 @ Elk County Catholic 6 – 12 7 – 6
5/07 @ Harmony 18 – 0 8 – 6
5/08 @ Glendale 17 – 2 9 – 6
5/09 @ Kane 12 – 2 10 – 6
5/09 @ Kane 5 – 6 10 – 7
5/15 @ Clearfield cancelled 10 – 7
5/16 DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH. ppd. 10 – 7
5/17 DUBOIS CENTRAL CATH. 0 – 7 10 – 8
5/22 District 9 AA Playoffs
5/22 @ Brookville 1 – 5 10 – 9