Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Panther Coach Defeats Mentor

By Matt Adamiak

BEDFORD - Northern Bedford High School baseball coach Scott Burda is a
1994 graduate of Portage High School, and played baseball there for
current Mustangs coach Larry McCabe.

On Monday evening, Burda's squad got the best of his mentor's team,
defeating the Mustangs, 7-4, in the first round of the PIAA Class A
playoffs at Bedford High School.

Portage finished its season at 15-9. The Black Panthers improved to
17-6, and will meet Christopher Dock Thursday.

''I have mixed emotions,'' Burda said. ''I know some of the players on
their team (Portage), and I hate to see them lose. But I bleed black,

"My hat goes off to Scotty, because he's a total class-act,'' McCabe
said. ''I love the way he coaches. I'm so proud of him."

With a 1-0 lead, the Black Panthers scored four runs, while sending nine
batters to the plate, in the bottom of the second inning. Dylan
Snowberger's two-run single plated Ethan Boy and Ian Feathers
highlighted the scoring.

In the top of the third inning with one out, the lightning and rain
came, and the game was delayed for 58 minutes. When the game resumed,

Panthers pitcher Kellen Stiffler returned and threw 3 2/3 scoreless
innings, until he was finally scored on when Eric Dividock scored Ray
George on a sacrifice fly. Stiffler carried a no-hitter into the top of
the sixth when George finally broke it up with a single.

''He (Stiffler) was able to locate his fastball tonight, and his
curveball came along in the middle innings,'' Burda said.
''He still looked really good after the first delay. I couldn't ask for
anything more from Kellen tonight.''

In the bottom half of the sixth, No. 9 hitter - Justin Claar - hit a
two-out solo home run over the left centerfield screen to give the Black
Panthers a 7-1 lead. Immediately after the homer, the lightning and rain
forced a 40-minute delay. When the rain and lightning let up, the
Mustangs came to the plate in the seventh, and every player turned their
cap inside out. They were able to get to Stiffler a bit, scoring three
runs, thanks to RBIs from Dividock and Martella. But it was too little,
too late.

''They wanted to put on our rally caps, and I thought we made a
statement in the seventh inning,'' McCabe said. ''We showed that the
game wasn't over yet.''

Stiffler allowed just six hits and four runs, while striking out five
and walking just two. Oberman, Snowberger and Claar each had a pair of
hits for the Black Panthers.

PORTAGE (4): Dividock 2b 301, Murphy cf 400, Bilchak 3b 211, McCabe c
311, Spaid 1b 300, Martella dh 311, Maul p 000, Bandzuh p 000, Kiell rf
301, George lf 311, Petryshak ss 200. Totals - 26 4 6.

NORTHERN BEDFORD (7): Oberman ss 412, Bowser cf 300, Weber lf 210,
Wagner 1b 301, Stiffler p 000, Boyd dh 210, I. Feathers 3b 210,
Snowberger c 302, D. Feathers cr 010, Hart rf 310, Claar 2b 312. Totals
- 25 7 7.

Score by Innings

Portage 000 001 3 - 4 6 4

Northern Bedford 140 011 X - 7 7 1

E - Petryshak 2, Maul, Bilchak, Oberman. 2B - Martella. HR - Claar. Sac
bunt - I. Feathers. SF - Dividock. HBP - Weber. DP - Portage 1, Northern
Bedford 1. WP - Stiffler. LP - Maul. SO - Maul 4, Stiffler 5. BB - Maul
1, Stiffler 2.

Records: Portage (15-9); Northern Bedford (17-6).

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