It took Chartiers Valley’s baseball team six innings to carve out an upset plan against South Fayette.
It took the Lions less than an inning to wreck those plans.
Tristan Bedillion lined a bases-loaded, one-out drive just inside the third-base line to give South Fayette a thrilling, 4-3 victory over Chartiers Valley in a key, for now, Section 3 game in Class 5A at Wild Things Park Tuesday afternoon.
The win has South Fayette tied with Shaler and West Allegheny for first place in the section with 6-2 records. Chartiers Valley is in fourth place at 3-6 and in need of a victory today against South Fayette or a loss by 2-6 North Hills to clinch a playoff spot.
Bedillion had never had a walkoff hit until Tuesday. He lauched a curveball from Joey Vanzin, who relieved Andrew Evans in the seventh inning.
“I was just thinking this is the perfect moment to do something, a perfect opportunity,” Bedillion said. “I was trying to keep a cool mind and stay back on the pitch. I got it done. I knew it was fair as soon as I hit it.”
It was not the prettiest of games for South Fayette. An error by Jon Casillo led to two unearned runs in the first. A second error by Casillo led to the Colts’ third run.
“(A win like this) just says we have a lot of heart and will never quit,” said Bedillion. “We knew we were down most of the game. We kept fighting and it paid off.”
In fact, South Fayette trailed throughout the game. The first lead they took was when Bedillion ended it.
“With our team, I never think we are out of it until the game is over,” said South Fayette head coach Ken Morgan. “Tristan came up and really delivered for us. The right guy for the right spot at the right time.”
The seventh inning started with the Lions cleanup hitter Chase Krewson striking out on a pitch that was nearly in the other batter’s box. Krewson, a sophomore who is a Notre Dame commit, went 0-for-3.
Michael DiMartini lashed a single to right and Jake Dunay singled to left. That was it for Evans as Vanzin came on in relief.
Vanzin walked Casillo to load the bases and set up Bedillion’s heroics.
“Bringing Joey in, that decision falls on me,” said Chartiers Valley head coach Curt Cairns. “If I had to do it over, I would do it exactly the same way. Joey is a good pitcher and gives his all every time. That’s a tough one.”
The WPIAL has been in discussions about changing the playoff format to make all teams eligible, similar to basketball season. A decision is expected this week.
“Why even play regular season games?” said Cairns. “As far as I can see in Class 5A and 6A, most teams got their games in. When it comes to section games, this year everyone has been able to get their games in. If you are good enough to make it, then you’ll find a way in.”
South Fayette winning pitcher Tyler Pitzer was touched up for two unearned runs in the first inning. Garrett Alauzen got on by an error and Anthony Collura singled. Will Kinchington drove them both in with a single.
SF tied it in the bottom of the third when Bedillion doubled and was driven in by a double from Ryan McGuire. AJ Bryan knocked McGuire in with a single.
Chartiers Valley took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Owen Tyler beat out an infield hit, stole second base, moved to third on a deep fly out to center and scored on an error.