Lydon, Kerdesky duo pilot Dallas to PIAA baseball semifinals

By Tom Robinson - For Times Leader

PINE GROVE — When Thursday’s PIAA Class 4A baseball quarterfinal was over, Darren Kerdesky jumped up into the storage area of the Dallas team bus, grabbed equipment bags from his teammates and safely packed them away.

Kerdesky had spent the previous two hours effectively taking bats out of the hands of West York hitters, ensuring Dallas would need its equipment for at least a few more days.

With Kerdesky and Josh Lydon combining to limit the 2012 and 2013 Class 3A state champions to five harmless singles, the Mountaineers continued their improbable playoff run by shutting out the Bulldogs, 2-0, to advance to Monday’s state semifinals.

They will play East Pennsboro, a 5-2 winner over Wilson Area, on Monday.

Kerdesky escaped a rocky first inning, Nick Kocher and Charles Giacometti gave Dallas the lead in the second and the Mountaineers handled a series of key defensive plays to strand 10 West York runners.

Time between rounds allowed Kocher to start the previous four games, including the district final and state opener, in what is now an 11-game Dallas winning streak.

“If there was a game to doubt us, maybe it was (Thursday),” Dallas coach Ken Kashatus said. “But, our sophomore, Kerdesky really showed up and he left his guts on the mound.”

Lydon walked two in his four-out save. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, then ending the game by striking out the West York No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, who each came to the plate representing the tying run.

Kerdesky, a sophomore right-hander, allowed five hits, walked one batter and hit another while striking out two in 5.2 innings.

“He did an excellent job,” Lydon said. “He did his job; he came in and pounded strikes.

“He hasn’t pitched in a while. He gave much more than expected, gave us a zero through six. It was a real productive outing.”

Together, the pitchers handled the heart of the West York order.

Kerdesky’s only strikeouts came against the same two batters as Lydon after the Bulldogs put the game’s first two batters on second and third.

“That helped me a lot,” Kerdesky said of escaping the jam on a groundout.

The third through fifth hitters from West York combined to go 0 for 11 with the four strikeouts. They were 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-8 with men on base.

“My fastball was helping me a lot, working the outside and my slider sometimes, too, was getting me strikes,” Kerdesky said.

After issuing his second walk with one out in the seventh, Lydon went right after Justin Wetzel and Anthony Kahler.

Lydon baffled Wetzel with a curveball for a called strike, making it 0-2, then had him chasing and missing badly on a fastball well up and out of the strike zone.

“The curveball, throwing it in the pen, felt really good and that showed,” Lydon said.

Kocher scored one run and drove in the other to lead the Dallas offense.

After Kocher singled to start the second, Mike Collins and Will McCrum walked to lead the bases.

Giacometti flew out deep to left for the second out, but drove in Kocher.

The Mountaineers added a run in the fifth when J.D. Barrett doubled into the right-field corner and scored on two more outs.

Mike Luksic sacrificed Barrett to third and Kocher hit the ball hard toward the middle for an RBI groundout when shortstop Robbie Bertucio had to make a diving stop with the infield in.

“Mike Luksic is maybe our best average hitter all year,” Kashatus said. “A real team guy. He does not wince at all, just puts the ball down.”

With the second run manufactured, Kashatus said, “I really thought we were going to win at that point.”

The Mountaineers did, in part because of a strong defensive game.

Right fielder Mike Collins and Kerdesky, once he moved to center field, ran down fly balls.

Shortstop Will McCrum passed in front of second base to field a bases-loaded grounder, then spun around and flipped to second baseman Barrett in time to record the force that ended the sixth inning.

The defensive highlight came to end the second with two Bulldogs on base. First baseman Christo Huntingdon dove to his right to field a grounder from leadoff hitter Zach Gettys and Kerdesky covered quickly enough to pull in Huntingdon’s throw.

“To get him out, with two outs and not give them any life there; to be there, then make the throw on the money, that was a huge play,” Kashatus said. “That was a college baseball play.”

Dallas 2, West York 0


Kerdesky p-cf`4`0`1`0

Barrett 2b`4`1`1`0

Luksic 3b`3`0`0`0

Kocher cf-lf`3`1`1`1

Collins rf`2`0`1`0

McCrum ss`2`0`1`0

Patton lf`1`0`0`0

Lewis pr-cf`1`0`0`0

Lydon p`0`0`0`0

Giacometti dh`2`0`0`1

Mathers c`0`0`0`0

Huntingdon 1b`2`0`0`0


West York`AB`R`H`BI

Gettys 1b-cf`3`0`0`0

Kubicki cf-p`3`0`2`0

Wetzel p-1b`4`0`0`0

Kahley c`4`0`0`0

Bertucio ss`3`0`0`0

Mease dh`3`0`2`0

Bentzel rf`0`0`0`0


Newman lf`2`0`0`0

Wise 3b`2`0`0`0



West York`000`000`0`—`0

E: Dallas 1, West York 1. LOB: Dallas 7, West York 10. 2B: Barrett. SAC: Luksic, Ketterman. SF: Gicaometti.


Kerdesky (W)`5.2`5`0`0`1`2

Lydon (S)`1.1`0`0`0`2`2

West York`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Wetzel (L)`6.1`5`2`2`4`7


WP: Wetzel. PB: Kahley 2

HBP: Wise (by Kerdesky)

By Tom Robinson

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @tlsports

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @tlsports