STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- His team got down by two runs in the top of the first inning and had already made a pitching change, so Devon Prep needed a spark.
Senior infielder Aaron Nuble didn’t take long to provide it.
Nuble hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning and then scored on pitcher Andrew Czachor’s sacrifice fly. That hit got the Devon Prep offense rolling during Friday’s 3-2 win over Serra Catholic in the PIAA Class 2A championship game at Penn State’s Medlar Field.
While Czachor’s 6⅔ innings of shutout relief was the natural headliner, the spark that Nuble provided with that opening triple can’t be minimized.
“Our energy on the bench came up after I hit that triple,” said Nuble, a Widener recruit. “We usually have energy on the bench. But when I hit that triple, we knew we could hit this kid and come back to win this game.”
The kid Nuble referred to was Serra Catholic righthander Alex Glumax, who entered the game with a record of 10-2.
“When he got that hit, you could see all of our energy soaring,” said junior first baseman Jackson Jonik, who broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI double in the third inning.
During his career at Devon Prep, Nuble has been the prototype leadoff hitter, constantly setting the table.
The triple to left-centerfield showcased Nuble’s speed and power.
“What was important was the turn he took at first and the turn he took at second to get to third," Devon Prep coach Mark Aquilante said. "Getting to third at that spot as opposed to second, because we aren’t bunting with Czachor, and that allowed us to score that run. It was a big extra-base hit.”
This was Devon Prep’s second state title, with the first one coming in 2014. That year, Nuble’s cousin, Dominic Hardaway, was the Tide’s catcher.
“After seeing him, I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Nuble, who started at second base but moved to shortstop when Czachor went in to pitch.
Had his cousin given him the business about not owning a state title?