cut the deficit to 4-1 in the sixth inning.
“It was pretty much the same thing last year,” Tappen, who went 1-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout, said. “Last year I had been walked three times and then the fourth at bat I went yard. Then (today) I got walked my first AB on four straight. When you’re in that position and you’re 3-0 and then he throws you that strike, you have to be ready. He hung a curveball, it was one of his very few mistakes all game. I was able to put a nice swing on it and put it into the trees.”
In the top of the seventh, trailing 5-1, Wissahickon had the bases loaded with two outs and Tappen in the on-deck circle, but Mike Schoenleber grounded out to first base.
“You saw in that last inning we came to life there and loaded up the bases and had a chance to really do some damage,” Tappen said, “but things didn’t fall as we would’ve liked them too. I’m super proud of these guys and everything they’ve done.”
The loss brings Wissahickon’s season to an end. The Trojans had a big senior class — headlined by Tappen, Matt Shilling and Logan Willans — that had expectations for much more than a first-round exit.
“We always have high hopes coming into the year,” Tappen said. “Last year, the year before that and even our freshman year we’ve had the pieces. We’ve had the talent. We’ve had the pitching. We’ve had the order. We’ve lost a couple onerun games. We win those games and we’re in a different seed, different spot, maybe even have a home game and we’re in a different position in that standpoint. Going out in the first round is not something that we planned in the beginning. We were looking to make a run and qualify for states at a minimum. To say it’s a bit of a disappointment — absolutely.”
“It’s a tough pill to swallow to lose this early and go out,” Bernhardt said. “A lot of those guys have a really promising future ahead of them — Matty, Alex, Schoenleber — all those guys. They’ll be fine.”
Willans started the game on the mound and took the loss. He gave up four runs on five hits over four innings. He struck out one batter and walked three.
Holy Ghost Prep will face No. 10 Upper Moreland in the second round Wednesday. The Golden Bears beat No. 7 W.C. Henderson, 3-0, Tuesday.
“I like to think we have three aces,” Birch said of himself, John Mccrane and Ryan Staropoli going forward in the postseason. “I don’t look at it as a 1-2-3, I look at it as a 1-1-1. All three of us are capable of having a very good game.
“I know (Upper Moreland is) a tough team, a chippy team, much like Wissahickon today. I’m very confident going into it, especially home-field advantage. For me it was a great mindset today. I wasn’t letting someone come in on our field and embarrass us. I’m sure the other two guys have the same mentality.” Holy Ghost Prep 5, Wissahickon 1 Wissahickon Holy Ghost Prep WP: Peyton Birch 6.1 IP 11 K 2 BB 3 H 1 R1ER LP: Logan Willans 4 IP 1 K 3 BB 5 H 4 R 4ER Save: Andrew Galasso .2 IP 0 K 0 BB 0 H0R0ER 2B: HGP: Mark Seibert. HR: W: Alex Tappen.