North Penn, the District 1 fifth-place finisher, advanced to the PIAA Class AAAA state baseball championship game with a convincing 12-1 triumph over District 7 titlist North Allegheny yesterday at Green Township Park in Scotland.
Senior first baseman Scott Christy went 2 for 4 with four RBIs to power the Knights.
The No. 3 batter notched an RBI single in the first inning, a sacrifice fly in a four-run fifth, and a two-run homer to right field in the seventh as North Penn scored six runs in the first three innings to take control of the game from the start.
North Penn (19-6) will take on Parkland, the District 11 champ, for the state title on Friday at 7 p.m. at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona.
Behind a two-hit, 11-strikeout effort from senior righthander Andrew Kulp, the Trojans (21-6) ousted St. Joseph's Prep, 6-2, in a semifinal yesterday at Spring-Ford. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Kulp took a perfect game into the top of the fifth inning against St. Joseph's Prep when he plunked the leadoff batter.
North Penn had better bring its hitting eyes on Friday because Kulp struck out seven of the Prep's first nine batters.
Against North Allegheny, North Penn senior righthander Mike Bradstreet tossed a complete-game six-hitter. He struck out four.
The other offensive catalysts were centerfielder Justin Davey (1 for 3, three RBIs) and leftfielder Jake Dunn (3 for 4). Rightfielder Christian Radick and catcher Matt Albaugh both went 2 for 3.
Davey's two-run triple in the second upped the advantage to 3-0.
In the fifth, the Knights were aided by two North Allegheny (23-3) errors as they went on to score four runs and put the game on ice.
North Penn ended the Tigers' 13-game winning streak and handed junior righthander Ryan Oglesby (9-1) his first loss of the season.
The Knights' ace, senior righthander and Winthrop recruit Eric Ruth, is expected to start against Parkland. He will be opposed by either Kulp (8-0, 74 strikeouts in 601/3 innings) or fellow righthander Casey Cooperman (6-3, 51 strikeouts in 57 innings).
Ruth pitched a shutout in North Penn's first-round state playoff win June 1 and a four-hitter in the quarterfinal victory over Council Rock North on Saturday.
North Penn 123 040 2 - 12 12 1
North Allegheny 001 000 0 - 1 6 2