A happy ending for Dock

After scoring the winning run, Christopher Dock's Brandon Reichart (right) celebrates with assistant coach Ed Melendez.
After scoring the winning run, Christopher Dock's Brandon Reichart (right) celebrates with assistant coach Ed Melendez.

As if following a script, the Pioneers rallied for a 4-3 victory over Serra Catholic in the final.

Posted: June 19, 2010

ALTOONA, Pa. - On the long and winding bus ride to Western Pennsylvania, Christopher Dock players and coaches watched The Final Season, a movie chronicling the true story of a tiny Iowa school's quest for baseball glory.

In Friday's PIAA Class A state final against Serra Catholic, the small-enrollment Pioneers provided an ending worthy of a Hollywood script. And like the flick they viewed, it included a new coach and a bruising hit by pitch.

Alex Summers played the role of hero, delivering a two-out, two-run, walk-off single past third base in the seventh inning to give Dock a thrilling 4-3 victory over Serra (24-2) and set off a wild celebration at Blair County Ballpark.

"The way we won it, it couldn't have been any better," said first-year coach Ed Molnar, a retired bank president. "This, for sure, is something the kids will remember forever."

The Eagles took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and runners on first and third, coach Brian Dzurenda decided to intentionally walk red-hot catcher Ryan Seiz, who was 3 for 3 with two doubles, and pitch to Summers, the cleanup batter, with the bases loaded.

Summers ripped a 2-2 splitter toward third base. It went off Ken Tomco's glove and into short left field. Drew Mininger, who had hit a two-out single to left, scored from third. Brandon Reichart, who had been hit by a pitch, beat Avery Sandor's throw to catcher Chris Miller.

"I knew they would walk Ryan, and I knew I could do this," the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Summers said. "The pitch was slow and inside. I was kind of hoping to drive it farther, but whatever works. I'll take it."

Summers was 0 for 3, with two strikeouts, before his final at-bat.

"I said to myself, 'This is going to be my moment. I'm going to drive in the last two runs and win the game,' " the Alvernia-bound senior said. "That's what you do in your dreams. Everybody wants to do this."

Serra's Oliver Girman, who relieved lefthanded-throwing brother Alain (10 strikeouts) in the sixth, opened the seventh with two strikeouts. On a 1-2 count, Mininger singled. Girman, in a link to The Final Season, then plunked Reichart with a pitch. With runners on first and second, Dzurenda decided to walk Seiz.

"I thought it was the easiest decision I had to make all day," Dzurenda said. "He's hitting, like, .900 or something in the playoffs."

Seiz, a Louisville recruit who entered the final batting .557, doubled to left in the first, doubled past third and scored in the fourth, and drove in a run in the sixth.

Dock (20-3) won its third state title in the last six years.

Serra Catholic 000 111 0 - 3 4 4

Christopher Dock 000 101 2 - 4 7 0

WP: Alex Summers. LP: Oliver Girman. 2B: CD-Ryan Seiz 2, Brigham Lewis, Brandon Reichart.

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or robrien@phillynews.com.

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