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Baseball: ELCO Raiders v Dallas Mountaineers – State Playoff Preview


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On Monday afternoon, the ELCO Raiders will be making their third all-time appearance in the PIAA State Baseball Championship Tournament when they travel to play the Dallas Mountaineers on their home turf. The Raiders finished as the District 3- 4A runner-up after a well-timed hot streak led them to take down the #9 seed Kennard-Dale, upsetting #1 Bermudian Springs, & then blasting by #4 James Buchanan before eventually falling in the District 3 Championships to East Pennsboro.


ELCO Raiders

Following a regular season where ELCO finished 11-9 and had to win their last three games to make it into Districts, the run to States seemed unlikely before the postseason began. They have been fueled by solid hitting, led by Colin Bogart (.600, 7 RBI), Dallas George (.500, 5 RBI), and Morgan Shanaman (.462, 7 RBI). Gavin Bicher, the team’s regular season leader with a .372 batting average has also provided a solid .312 average during the postseason and is currently in the midst of an eleven game hit streak.

Shanaman, who hit the game-winning three-run home run against James Buchanan, has joined forces with Austin Smith to provide solid pitching, making it difficult for the opposition to score. In the three wins, the senior Shanaman pitched two complete games, giving up two earned runs and striking out twelve in fourteen innings, while the sophomore Smith pitched a three-hit, one-run complete game of his own. If Smith is called upon, he has the unique experience of having watched his older brother, Dakota, throw for ELCO during their last State Playoff appearance during the 2021 season when the Raiders won their opening round matchup before bowing out in the quarterfinals.


ELCO Raider Baseball – District Playoff 3 Game Summaries

Dallas Mountaineers

Dallas is the District 2 Champion for the second straight year. Last season, they finished as the State runner-up. This is their fifth appearance in the State Tournament, having won the 2017 Championship.

Entering Monday, the Mountaineers hold a season record of 19-4 and are winners of seven straight games. In the Wyoming Valley Conference, they finished as the regular season runner-up to Hazelton, the District 2 – 6A Champion. In the District 2 Tournament, they punched their ticket to States with a 1-0 victory over Scranton Prep.

In the District 2 Championship game, pitcher Sam Barrouk (Sr.) gave up three hits in six innings before Aaron Patton (Jr.) shut it down in the 7th. Barrouk has made four appearances, all in May, and has yet to give up a run in 15.1 innings of work. Having been the primary pitcher during the State Playoffs last season, Barrouk brings valuable experience to the mound. Fellow senior Zach Paczewski is another pitcher to watch, as he sports a 2.62 ERA and his team is 6-1 in games during which he appeared. The most recent win of Paczewski was a 6-5 win over Wyoming Area in the District 2 semifinals.

At the plate, Dallas has been led by juniors Jack Leandri (.491, 13 RBI), Kaden Coyne (.411, 15 RBI), and Dylan Geskey (.297, 19 RBI). As a whole, they are a team that does not rely on the long ball (3 home runs) but rather opportunistically used 32 doubles and 11 triples on their way to scoring 175 runs. Their .317 team batting average is higher than the .287 the Raiders used to produce 150 runs on the season.

Final Thoughts

Dallas has the home field advantage and the experience. While their numbers look impressive, it is something that is tough to judge when considering different levels of regional competition each team sees prior to States. What we know about ELCO is that they have risen to the occasion throughout this postseason and will not back down from the fight. With their best baseball of the season being played in recent weeks, the Raiders will undoubtedly present a major challenge to Dallas’s plans to make another run to the State Finals. The key for ELCO is for them to play loose in order to avoid any costly errors. The rest should take care of itself.


PIAA State Playoff AAAA Bracket


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kathy

    June 2, 2024 at 1:49 pm

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