HS BASEBALL: Scranton Prep seeks state playoff berth

Jack Leandri's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday night gave Dallas a 1-0 victory in the District 2 Class 4A baseball final.

It also gave Scranton Prep the latest in a line of painful, late-inning postseason losses.

Now, the Cavaliers (12-9) will try to shake off that defeat and still qualify for the PIAA playoffs. They travel to Mount Aloysius College in Cresson on Thursday at 5 p.m. for a play-in game against District 10 runner-up Meadville (16-7-1).

Scranton Prep is no stranger to heartbreak in the playoffs:

• In 2017, in the district quarterfinals, the Cavaliers were one strike away from victory, only to see Berwick rally for six runs and a 7-3 win.

• Berwick did it to them again in the 2018 district quarterfinals, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out a 3-2 win.

• Jacob Connolly's RBI single with one out in the bottom of the seventh lifted Dallas to a 2-1 win in the 2019 district final.

• In the first round of the PIAA playoffs in 2022, Jansen Sarisky hit a sacrifice fly to score Dylan Groshek, who tripled, in the bottom of the seventh and gave Central Columbia a 5-4 victory.

• Last season, in the district semifinals, J.J. Rischawy's single with one out in the bottom of the seventh gave Dallas a 3-2 win.

• Then Sunday, Leandri added his name to the list.

Unlike those losses, however, Scranton Prep has a chance to continue its season if it can beat Meadville.

The Bulldogs used a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Grove City, 6-5, in the first round of the District 10 playoffs. They then blanked Sharon, 3-0, in the semifinals before losing to Erie Cathedral Prep in the final, 14-0, in five innings.

Senior Rocco Tartaglione leads Meadville with a .486 batting average (36 for 74) with seven doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBIs. He also is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 39⅓ innings.

Sophomore A.J. Feleppa is 7-2 with a 2.07 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 71 innings. Feleppa pitched six shutout innings with three hits, one walk and seven strikeouts in the semifinal win over Sharon.

Other players to watch include Jacoby Thompson, who is batting .355 (22 for 62) with nine RBIs; Bradyn Miller, who is batting .341 (28 for 82) with 10 doubles and 18 RBIs; Henry DeSantis-Biggs, who is batting .312 (24 for 77) with 16 RBIs; and Brighton Anderson, who is hitting .237 (18 for 76) with three home runs and 18 RBIs.

Leading the way for Scranton Prep are Johnny Petrosky (.466, 24 RBIs; 4-3, 3.21 ERA, 47Ks); Matthew Kalinowski (.394, 19 RBIs); Roman Valvano (.327, 9 RBIs); Zander Condeelis (.313, 7 RBIs); and Brian Kellogg (.303, 20 RBIs).

If Scranton Prep wins, it would advance to face District 4 champion Danville in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament. If Meadville wins, it would play the District 7 champ in the first round.