California took a five-run lead in the bottom of the first inning Wednesday afternoon against Vincentian Academy by hitting one pitch out of the infield.
Five, well-placed infield singles, a bases-loaded walk to T.D. Conway and a two-run double from Mike Britton gave the Trojans a 5-0 lead, a lead that should have been 6-0 were it not for a completely blown call by the home plate umpire. On the play, Tommy Sparrow tagged up from third base on a Adam Miller pop-up to shortstop and raced home. The ump ruled Sparrow left third too early.
As peculiar as the first inning went, the sixth inning was quite unusual.
Conway and Zac Edmiston combined to pitch five shutout innings on three hits as the Trojans took the same 5-0 lead into the sixth in a game where the winner goes to the PIAA Class A playoffs and the loser starts playing American Legion.
In the sixth, Sparrow took the mound and only registered one out. California then called upon catcher Sam Luketich to pitch. Like Sparrow, Luketich recorded one out.
With two outs, two runners on base and the score 5-4, Conway took the mound a second time.
The sophomore finished with the win and the save as California, which made four pitching changes, advanced to states with a 5-4 win.