The last time Bethel Park had taken the field for a PIAA playoff game, Evan Holewinski pitched a three-hitter to lead the Black Hawks to a second consecutive Class 5A championship.
The Black Hawks began their quest toward an unprecedented third consecutive title Monday, and it was Holewinski who shined again, only this time he made his biggest splash with his bat.
Holewinski’s grand slam highlighted a six-run 10th inning, allowing WPIAL runner-up Bethel Park to escape with an 8-2 win at District 3 champion Mechanicsburg in a first-round game.
Bethel Park (18-5), which won its ninth consecutive PIAA playoff game, broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh when Holewinski hit an RBI double and Lucas Lybarger followed with an RBI triple. But Mechanicsburg (18-7) tied the score in the bottom of the inning on Landon Mark’s two-run single.
In the 10th, Bethel Park loaded the bases with no outs before Ryan Petras ripped an RBI single to give the Black Hawks the lead. John Chalus drew a bases-loaded walk to knock in another run and then Holewinski followed with the grand slam. It was his eighth home run of the season, setting a new school record.
Next up for Bethel Park is Philadelphia Catholic League champion Monsignor Bonner (11-3) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Bonner is led by shortstop Kevin McGonigle, a projected first-round pick in July’s MLB Draft and the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year. When Bethel Park beat Red Land in the 2021 championship, Red Land’s star player was Benny Montgomery, who was taken in the first round of the MLB Draft that year.
Other Class 5A
• Miguel Hugas hit two doubles and knocked in four runs to drive WPIAL champion Shaler (20-4) to a 7-1 win against District 3 fifth-place finisher Muhlenberg (15-9) at North Allegheny. Hugas registered a three-run double in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Winning pitcher Colby Weber pitched the final four innings.
• WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon (14-10) capitalized on four errors by scoring four first-inning runs and held on for a 4-1 win against District 3 third-place finisher Manheim Township (14-11) at Boyce Mayview Park. The Blue Devils have won 11 of their past 12 games.
• Harron Lee doubled twice and drove in three runs to lead WPIAL runner-up North Allegheny (17-7) to an 11-5 win against District 10 champion McDowell (15-7) at Mercyhurst. Winning pitcher David Posey went five innings, giving up three runs and two hits while striking out eight.
• Freshman Kingston Krotec fired a four-hit shutout to lift WPIAL champion Hopewell (13-11) to a 3-0 triumph against District 3 third-place finisher Northern Lebanon (17-8) at Washington & Jefferson. John Vescio, Stephen Slate and Lucas Arington each had two hits for the Vikings.
• Once trailing by eight runs, WPIAL runner-up Latrobe (17-8) nearly came all the way back before falling to District 6 champion Bellefonte (16-6), 10-9, at Governor’s Park in Bellefonte. Jacob Cramer had five RBIs and Logan Bradish knocked in a pair for Latrobe, which scored four runs in the fifth and three in the seventh after falling behind, 10-2, in the fourth.
• Maryland recruit Cole Constable hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth to help District 10 champion Cathedral Prep (22-1) rally for a 6-5 win against defending champion and WPIAL third-place finisher Montour (20-5) at Mercyhurst University.
• Steven Budash homered and Garrison Dougherty added a run-scoring single to propel Indiana (16-9), the No. 4 team from the WPIAL, to a 2-1 win at District 3 champion East Pennsboro (15-8).
• WPIAL champion Riverside (22-0) kept its perfect season intact after scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat visiting District 6 runner-up Tyrone (12-12), 3-2. Darren McDade drove in a run and had two of Riverside’s six hits. Hunter Garvin pitched three scoreless innings to earn the win.
• WPIAL runner-up Neshannock (18-6) scored its only run on a bases-loaded walk in the fourth and was eliminated by District 9 champion Punxsutawney (19-2), 9-1, at Showers Field in DuBois. The Chucks scored five runs in the third, three coming on errors and another on a walk with the bases loaded.
• Fairview (18-2), the District 10 champion, scored three runs in the fifth to rally for a 3-1 win against East Allegheny (14-8) at Mercyhurst University. Traynor Janosko had an RBI double for East Allegheny, the WPIAL’s fourth-place finisher.
• Sam McDonald’s walkoff single in the eighth lifted host and District 6 champion Philipsburg-Osceola (17-5) to a 4-3 win against WPIAL third-place finisher Avonworth (18-7).
• WPIAL champion Seton LaSalle (17-5) saw its season come to a close after a 2-1 loss to District 9 runner-up Karns City (16-7) at North Allegheny. Karns City scored the winning run in the fifth inning. Aric White singled in a run and had one of the Seton LaSalle’s three hits.
• Sharpsville (15-7), the District 10 champion, scored three runs in both the first and fourth innings to defeat WPIAL runner-up Serra Catholic, 7-4, at Slippery Rock University. Isiah Petty and Owen Dumbroski each had a pair of hits for the Eagles, while Zach Karp took the loss after surrendering six runs (three earned) in four innings.
• Andrew Bredel pitched a complete game, striking out 11 without issuing a walk to push WPIAL third-place finisher Burgettstown (16-4) to a 6-1 win against District 9 champion Redbank Valley (18-5) at Showers Field in DuBois. Maddox Gratchen hit a two-run single in the third and Tristan Roach added three hits.
• Henry Shaffer fired a no-hitter with nine strikeouts to propel District 10 runner-up Saegertown (18-4) to a 6-0 win against WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin (15-4) at Boyce Mayview Park.
• Southern Fulton (23-1), the District 5 champion, raced to a 7-1 second-inning lead and went on to eliminate visiting WPIAL runner-up California (14-9), 8-3. Southern Fulton’s Dane Harvey had two home runs and six RBIs. Dom Martini collected two of California’s six hits.
• District 10 champion West Middlesex (15-9) struck for 10 runs in the first three innings and coasted to a 12-2, five-inning win against WPIAL third-place finisher Union (14-6) at Slippery Rock University. Rocco Galmarini and Anthony Roper both knocked in runs for Union, which was held to five hits.
First round scores
Mt. Lebanon 4, Manheim Township 1
North Allegheny 11, McDowell 5
Bethel Park 8, Mechanicsburg 2 (10)
Penn-Trafford 8, Central Mountain 5
Shaler 7, Muhlenberg 1
Bellefonte 10, Latrobe 9
Cathedral Prep 6, Montour 5
Hopewell 3, Northern Lebanon 0
Indiana 2, East Pennsboro 1
Fairview 3, East Allegheny 1
Philipsburg-Osceola 4, Avonworth 3 (8)
Punxsutawney 8, Neshannock 1
Riverside 3, Tyrone 2
Burgettstown 6, Redbank Valley 1
Karns City 2, Seton LaSalle 1
Sharpsville 7, Serra Catholic 4
Saegertown 6, Bishop Canevin 0
Southern Fulton 8, California 3
West Middlesex 12, Union 2 (5)