Sheetz reached the George B. Kelley Federation championship series last season but lost in four games to a Tyrone Legion team filled with players who had just won a PIAA state championship.
After making it back to the Kelley Federation championship series this year, Sheetz has put his full focus on finishing the job.
After winning the opening game of this year’s best-of-three championship series, 12-4 against Barton’s Plumbing and Heating on Saturday at Vets Field, Sheetz clinched the title Sunday afternoon with a 6-4 win over Barton’s in a game that ended in steady drizzle at the Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Jeremy Chaplin ended his first season as Sheetz manager with a league title and was quick to highlight the hard work and diligence of all his players.
“These guys have worked hard all season, every single game,” said Chaplin. “We were shorthanded in every single game for various reasons, but these players always struggled.
“This is my first year on board as manager of this team but this team has been working towards it for a long time and they made it this year. I’m very proud of all my players who have improved.”
Right-hander Kyle Wilson, a 2021 graduate of Altoona Area High School, has championed Sheetz on the mound. Wilson went 6• innings, conceding just five hits, two runs and one run earned while killing three batters and making three walks.
“I couldn’t ask for a much better game from him,” Chaplin said of Wilson. “He threw a gem.”
Wilson mixed the speeds well, leaving the Barton’s hitters in the dark.
“I just executed,” Wilson said. “I hit my points with my fast ball, and when I needed to throw a shot with my curve ball, I did. Everything went well for me today.”
Sheetz, who entered the playoffs as a top seed after winning the championship in the regular season, built a 2-0 lead on a two-out, two-run single-to-left field from Brayden Harbaugh in the upper third of the third inning.
Barton’s cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Owen Dombrosky reached with a two-out infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Sheetz hit a run in the sixth inning to take a 3-1 lead when Braxton Zitsch hit a leadoff single, finished second and eventually crossed home plate with Jake Detwiler’s sacrificial fly.
Sheetz grabbed a valuable breakup with three runs in the top of the seventh inning to forge a 6-1 advantage. Aden Diehl’s double three-pointer in deep midfield scored Brayden Winters, who had walked, and Jaxson Ferguson, who had reached from a miss.
“That treble opened the game for us,” said Chaplin. “That really got us going. Each of our boys gained weight today. We have the hits when it counts.”
Barton’s manager Tommy Williams agreed.
“We were still 3-1 down, but then they added three more,” Williams said. “They put the ball in play today.”
Still, second-place Barton’s, stranded 10 baserunners in the game, made things very interesting at the end of the seventh inning, scoring three runs on RBI singles from Braylon Williams and Lex Dixon and loading the bases with two outs ahead of reliever Dalton Gochnour defeated Hamilton Gates to end the game.
The Barton’s team is made up of players from Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School who will benefit from this year’s Federation playoff run.
“This was a great opportunity for our younger players to see quality pitching and quality opponents,” said Tommy Williams, who is also BG’s longtime head baseball coach.
For the Sheetz players, Sunday was an opportunity to get some unfinished business done.
“That feels great,” Wilson said. “I’ve never had an opportunity to win a championship in my baseball career, and I’ve never wanted to do it more than with this group of players.
On Saturday, Detwiler and Winters each had two hits, three RBIs and one run for Sheetz. Dombrosky had two hits and Devyn DeGennaro drove in two runs for Barton’s.
SHEETZ (6): Zitsch 1b 411, Harbaugh cf 301, Wilson p-2b 200, Detwiler c 200, Gochnour 3b 300, Winters 2b-ss 210, Ferguson EH 210, E. Chaplin lf 100, Ledford lf 200, Diehl ss- 3b 221, A. Chaplin rf 210. Overall – 25-6-3.
BARTON’S PLUMBING & HEATING (4): Dombrosky c 311, Negola cf 412, Beauchamp p-ss 311, Williams ss 401, Dixon 2b 401, DeGennaro 1b 100, Foor rf 100, Fochler ph 101, Gates rf 200, Hofer 3b 200, Barnhart-Horton ph 110, Cacciotti lf 100, Warmath ph 100. Overall – 28-4-7.
RESULT BY ININGS
Sheetz 002 001 2-6-3-3
Bartons P&H 001 000 3-4-7-1
E-Diehl 2, Harbaugh, Hofer. 3B-Diehl. RBI – Harbaugh 2, Diehl 2, Detwiler, Williams, Dixon. SAC-Cacciotti. SF-Detwiler. SB-Negola 2, Dombrosky, Beauchamp, Zitsch, Ferguson. HBP DeGennaro (by Gochnour). LOB – Bartons 10, Sheetz 4.
Sheetz: Wilson (W) 6.1IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 3SO; Gochnour 2/3IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 1SO.
Bartons: Beauchamp (L) 5.1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 9SO; Williams 1.2IP, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 2SO.
Records: Sheetz wins best-of-three series 2-0.
Referee: Brett Stoner (Plate); Gary Stitt (first base); Patrick Minnoia (third base).
Playing time: 1:57.
BARTON’S PLUMBING & HEATING (4): Dombrosky lf-1b-cf-lf 402, Negola cf-p-cf 211, Williams ss 310, DeGennaro 1b-p-1b 411, Foor p-lf-2b 400, Hofer 3b 400, Dixon 2b 201, Narnhart-Horton rf 200, Cacciotti rf-lf-p 110, Warmath c 100, Fochler ph 100. Overall — 28-4-5.
SHEETZ (12): Zitsch 1b-lf-1b 321, Harbaugh cf 421, Wilson c 210, Detwiler p-1b-3b 312, Gochnaur 3b-p 301, Ferguson 2b-p 321, E. Chaplin lf 000, Ledford lf- eh 411, Jones eh 000, BH. Winters pr-eh-2b 312, Diehl ss 311, A. Chaplin rf 210. Totals — 30-12-10.
RESULT BY ININGS
Bartons P&H 211 000 0-4 5 2
Sheetz 160 104 X–12 10 3
E-Williams, Dombrosky, A. Chaplin, Gochnaur, Bra. Winter. 2B Ledford. 3B – Detwiler. RBI – DeGennaro 2, Warmath, Detwiler 3, BH. Winter 3, Diehl, Ledford, Harbaugh. Zitsch. WP Ferguson. LP foot. SO – Detwiler 4, Ferguson 2, DeGennaro 4, Negola 3, Cacciotti 2. BB – Detwiler 6, Foor 3, DeGennaro 1, Negola 1, Cacciotti 4.
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