PUNXSUTAWNEY — St. Marys will take on Ringgold in the first round of the PIAA 4A playoffs at Kuntz Field Monday at 3 p.m.
Ringgold is the runner-up in the WPIAL, as the Rams were defeated 4-1 by South Fayette in the title game.
St. Marys earned their spot in the PIAA playoffs by claiming the District 9 title in a thrilling 3-2 walk-off win over Clearfield at Showers Field Wednesday.
The Dutch finished the year 15-6 overall, while Ringgold posted a 16-4 overall record on the season.
The game could turn in to a pitchers duel, as both teams rely on shut-down pitching to lead them to wins and have both been involved in many low-scoring games throughout the season.
St. Marys finished the season with a team earned run average of 2.44, while the Ringgold pitching staff combined to post a 1.59 ERA this season.
For the Dutch, Nate Beimel and Jared Groll are two of the key contributors on the mound.
Beimel, a junior, finished the season with a perfect 5-0 record on the mound, posting an earned run average of 0.88 over 39 2/3 innings.
Beimel also led the team with 81 strikeouts and allowed just five earned runs on the year.
Groll pitched 29 innings on the year, posting an ERA of 2.41 and winning six games while only losing once.
The senior recorded 26 strikeouts on the season and allowed 10 earned runs.
St. Marys also looks to Tim Beimel on the mound, a senior with 34 1/3 innings pitched, who has struck out 48 and allowed seven earned runs.
For Ringgold, senior Ryan Varley and junior Chase Angotti led the pitching staff this season.
Varley posted a 4-1 record on the mound with an ERA of 0.99, while Angotti finished the year 6-1 and posted an ERA of 1.52.
Angotti led the team with 48 strikeouts over 41 1/3 innings pitched and allowed nine earned runs.
Carley pitched 35 1/3 innings on the year, striking out 45 and surrendering five earned runs.
With two strong pitching staffs going head-to-head, runs could be at a premium, but both sides have a handful of players they can turn to for production offensively.
Brandon Sicheri led the St. Marys offense in most batting statistics this season.
The junior finished the year with a .375 batting average, 26 runs and 17 runs batted in.
The Dutch will also look for contributions at the plate from Groll, Nate Beimel, Hayden Tettis and Tim Beimel.
At the plate for the Rams, Luke Winterbottom led the team with a .450 batting average while driving in 14 runs and scoring nine runs.
Bobby Boyer led the team with 18 RBIs, as Ryan Varley and Koby Bubash tied for the team high in runs with 19 apiece.
Both sides have experience with close games this season, as the Dutch have had seven games decided by two runs or less, including their District title when, while the Rams have had 11 such games.