Connect with us


ELCO Falls to Dallas in State Baseball Playoffs


If you like this type of coverage, please let us know by Following us on social media: Twitter/X – @lebcosports1 and Facebook.
For any questions, comments, or discrepancies, please reach out to


Following a surprising run that landed them in the District 3 Championship game, the result of peak play at a key juncture of the season, the ELCO Raiders qualified for the PIAA State Baseball Championship Tournament for only the third time in the history of the program. On Monday afternoon, they traveled to Dallas, PA, to take on the Mountaineers. The host team entered the tournament as the District 2 Champions and carried with them the experience of making it to last year’s State Finals. The District 3 runner-up Raiders were a true underdog but were intent on making it as difficult as possible for Dallas. The key to the game would be to avoid costly mistakes, a possibility that is elevated when experiences are not in one’s favor.

For the Raiders, Morgan Shanaman took the hill. In two wins over Kennard-Dale and James Buchanan this postseason, Shanaman was basically untouchable. After returning from an ankle injury late in the season, his increased workload coincided with ELCO’s rise as a formidable opponent.

To counter the challenge by the upstart Raiders, Dallas turned to their big arm, senior Sam Barrouk. While the St. Bonaventure commit has only appeared in four games this season, all in May, he has been stellar and has not allowed a run in 15.1 innings. Last season, he was the pitcher that the Mountaineers trusted to carry them to the State Championship game, one of only two games he lost. In fact, he threw a total of 59 innings and finished with a 1.66 ERA.

Showing plate discipline against the experienced starter, ELCO’s Dallas George drew a leadoff walk to start the game. Unfortunately, Barrouk shut down any ideations of ELCO, tagging him for an early run. In the Bottom 1st, Dallas began to flash their offensive might, as they got two hits and forced an ELCO error to score a run. The damage could’ve been far worse, but a 6-4-3 double play ended the early threat.

In the 2nd, Austin Smith drew a walk, but again, Barrouk worked his way out unscathed. On the other hand, contact baseball was working for the Mountaineers as they were the beneficiaries of three unearned runs in the Bottom 2nd.

After a scoreless 3rd, ELCO found themselves in a 4-0 hole. They began the 4th with a Gavin Bicher walk and a hit by Shanaman. After Shanaman was pulled in favor of a runner, Bryant Auker had a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. With one out, Smith hit a sacrifice grounder to score Bicher. With two outs, Coach Kreiser went to his playbook and called a squeeze, which Colin Bogart executed to score pinch-runner Sam Bechtel. With the score now 4-2 and Barrouk having given up his first runs of the season, the tenacity of ELCO was on full display.

Feeling the tide turning, Dallas chose to put their foot down, as they struck back with four runs on their own to extend the lead to 8-2.

After taking over for Shanaman in the 4th inning, Smith held the line in the 5th. Yet, Dallas could not be held in check much longer and put up five more runs in the 6th, including a three-run home run to walk it off with the ten-run rule going into effect.

Making things difficult during the game were five errors that were credited to the ELCO defense. Shanaman pitched 3.0 innings, giving up six hits and seven runs, only three of which were earned. Smith threw the final 2.2 innings, allowing six runs, only one of which was earned.

ELCO had two hits in the game, with Shanaman and Bogart each hitting singles. Bicher drew two walks, while George was awarded a base on balls to start the game. Smith reached after being hit.

One interesting stat is that Barrouk was only able to strike out two Raiders out of the 23 batters he faced. In his previous outing, a 1-0 District Championship win over Scranton Prep, he struck out eight.

ELCO finishes their season with a 14-11 record, resulting in only their third State Playoff appearance. While the Raiders will graduate several key players, there is a lot of talent that will be returning when Coach Brad Kreiser and his staff assemble again for the 2025 season.

Full Box Score

Game-by-Game Recap of ELCO’s District Playoff Run


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Baseball