Bethel Park played in the PIAA baseball quarterfinals for the fourth year in a row Friday.

While the first two of those trips culminated with wins and propelled the Black Hawks to state titles, the past two have now seen them endure season-ending losses to the same team.

Bonner-Prendergast scored all of its runs over the first two innings and held on to defeat Bethel Park, 6-4, in a PIAA Class 5A quarterfinal at Cumberland Valley.

Bonner-Prendergast (19-8), which plays in the Philadelphia Catholic League, moves into the semifinals for the fourth year in a row and will meet Hollidaysburg on Monday. The Friars beat Bethel Park, 3-1, in last year’s quarterfinals.

It was WPIAL runner-up Bethel Park (16-8-1) which struck the first big punch in the game after putting up 11 runs in a first-round win against Mechanicsburg. Mike Bruckner hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to give the Black Hawks a 2-0 lead.

Bonner-Prendergast not only answered but also doubled what Bethel Park did when it came to the plate for the first time. The Friars raced to a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the first after Irv Fisher walked with the bases loaded, Harry Carr delivered a two-run single, and another runner scored on an error. Carr, a Butler recruit, also got the start on the mound and earned the win.

But Bonner-Prendergast wasn’t done. Austin Cannon, a Rider recruit, smacked a two-run homer in the second to increase the Friars advantage to 6-2.

Bethel Park got two runs back in the fourth to make it 6-4. Santino Diulus hit a run-scoring single, and the Black Hawks produced another run via a fielder’s choice. Diulus was also the starting pitcher and suffered the loss.

Bethel Park’s loss means that only three WPIAL teams remain in the PIAA tournament. Class 4A Indiana, Class 3A Avonworth and Class 1A Eden Christian will all play in Monday’s semifinals.

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at