By nightfall, only one team had a chance to keep alive the city's high school baseball season and, well, that didn't quite happen.
After the other five District 12 squads lost by a combined 41-8 in the AA, AAA and AAAA classifications of the PIAA tournament, Class A Julia Masterman, of the Public League, likewise dropped its first-round outing.
The victor, by 3-2, was Reading Central Catholic on Mike Bean's two-out walkoff double.
"Any game that comes down to a last pitch is a great one," Masterman coach Alex Dejewski said by cell phone. "Somebody has to win. Somebody has to lose. It would have been nice to win, but . . .
"Things didn't work out for us, but we still had a great experience. It was a thing of beauty, really."
The game was played at Muhlenberg High in Laureldale, Pa., in a far-cry facility from Masterman's home field, in Fairmount Park near 33rd and Diamond.
"What a beautiful place. Like a minor league stadium," Dejewski said. "The kids were thrilled just to play there."
With senior righthander David Ashbridge not quite feeling 100 percent, Dejewski started junior righty Nate Vahedi. He went the 6-innings distance, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out 11.
The Blue Dragons scored two runs in the fourth as Augie Legido walked, Harry Taggart tripled and Vahedi hit into an error, allowing Taggart to check in. Though Jack Christmas followed with a double, the uprising fizzled.
The start of the game was delayed, slightly, due to Masterman's bus miseries.
"When we pulled up," Dejewski said, "they were hosing down the field, preparing it for our game. It was a wonderful sight. The kids were so impressed. As I said, we had a great time, except for the loss."
In 7 years of PIAA competition (all 7 for Pub, 3 for Catholic League), D-12 teams are 6-28 in first-round games.
In other games:
Council Rock South 8, Bonner 3: In AAAA, at South Philly's Ashburn Field, the Friars fell into an 8-0 hole before posting three in the fifth on Jamie Juisti's RBI single and Jim Haley's two-run double. CRS' Bret DeStefano allowed eight hits, but walked none. Brian Donnelly clubbed a three-run triple in a four-run fourth, expanding a 1-0 lead. Matt Dolan started for Bonner.
Conestoga 10, Frankford 3: In AAAA, at Neumann University, the Pioneers managed six hits against Austin Little and trailed by 9-1 after three innings. Losing pitcher Hector Cerda went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. Conestoga's Brian Cizek turned three hits, including a double, into four RBI.
Mechanicsburg 10, Franklin Towne 0 (5 inn.): In AAA, at Northern York High, the Coyotes were held to four hits and surrendered two runs per inning. In the first, Tyler Landis singled and Towne appeared poised to claim a 1-0 lead. Alas, the baserunner fell rounding third and was erased in a rundown. Damian Padilla and Aron Litostanski did the pitching for Towne.
Oley Valley 10, Esperanza 1: In AA, at Muhlenberg High, the Toros were limited to three hits. Two came in the fourth inning as Felix Torraca-Dedos singled and later came around on Aderly Perez' single. Giovanni Victoria made the start for Esperanza.