DCC Looks for First D9 Baseball Title in 15 Years When it Faces Defending Champion Oswayo Valley

ST. MARYS, Pa. (EYT) – Weather permitting, DuBois Central Catholic will look for its first District 9 Class A baseball title since it won the PIAA championship in 2001 when it takes on defending champion Oswayo Valley at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Berwind Park in St. Marys.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the game will be moved to Friday at a time to be determined but one earlier than 4:30 p.m. because of Oswayo Valley’s graduation.

The Cardinals (16-2) reached the title game with a 4-2 win over rival Elk County Catholic in the rubber match of a three-game season series in the semifinals Tuesday behind the brilliant pitching of Jake Miknis, who threw a complete-game eight hitter.

But with Miknis unavailable for the title game, look for DCC to hand the ball to senior Nick Szczerba, who has had a fine season of his own with a 4-2 record and a 1.89 ERA with Thomas Grecco (4-0, 1.25) waiting in the wings if Szczerba runs into trouble.

Oswayo Valley (22-0), who beat Coudersport 10-0 in five innings in the semifinal game, has its ace available after Brandon Brabham pitched to just two batters in the win over the Falcons giving up two hits before being pulled.

On the year, Brabham is 8-0 with 3.46 ERA.

Both teams have strong offenses that are also deep offenses.

Jake Miknis leads DCC after batting .490 in the regular season with three homers and 15 RBIs. He is joined in the hit parade by Grecco (.475 regular-season, 21 RBIs), his freshman brother Justin Miknis (.357) and Jack Frank (.333).

Oswayo Valley is strong top-to-bottom in the lineup as well led by Brabham who checks in a tad over .350 on the year, while Garrett Babcock is just shy of .400. Get use to the Babcock name, because there are three of them that play key roles for the Green Wave with both Gage also over .300 and Gavin solid as well. Garren Black is another key offensive component for Oswayo Valley and had two RBIs in the win over Coudersport, while catcher Dylan Buchholz, the son of manager Brad Buchholz, has signed to play at Erie Community College and is hitting over .300 on the season as well.

The real key to the Oswayo lineup though may be at the bottom where Jacob Karr has had multiple RBI games in three of his last four outings and four times on the year.

Both teams move into the PIAA playoffs with the winner playing the third-place team out of the WPIAL, Vincentian Academy,, and the loser facing the District 10 champion, either Rocky Grove or West Middlesex.


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