By Andrew Petyak and Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High baseball team knows what it takes to win.
The Lancers remained flawless in WPIAL Section 5-AA play with a 3-1 victory at Mohawk.
Solid pitching from ace Alex Welker limited the Warriors to four hits and one run in seven innings. He threw nine strikeouts and walked three.
“In terms of his pitches, he was able to keep us off balance and change speeds very well,” Mohawk coach Kevin Sapp said. “He fooled a few of our hitters a few times in crucial spots.”
Welker was able to get out of a jam in the fifth inning with two on and one out by striking out two straight batters to end the threat.
The Warriors (0-2 section, 0-3 overall) held the powerful Neshannock offense in check, but three unearned runs on tough bounces and dropped balls combined with Welker’s performance proved the difference.
“It’s a lot of little things. We were having trouble with some groundballs. There were tricky hops on both sides,” Sapp said.
The Lancers (3-0, 5-0) picked up a run in the first inning on a kicked ball by an outfielder and added two more runs on errors in the second and sixth. Marcus Giangiuli gathered two hits and Frank Fraschetti and Don Colucci recorded a double each for Neshannock.
Tyler Rader (0-1) dropped the decision, giving up three unearned runs in seven innings.
“He changes his speed pretty well. When he is most effective, he is pounding the strike zone, in particular the outside corner,” Sapp said. “He was able to do that. He was throwing his curveball very effectively.”
Frank Shaffer collected an RBI double that scored Aaron DeSantis for the Warriors’ lone run in the third.
The Mohawk JV team knocked off Ellwood City Lincoln, 5-2.
Joe Salmen pitched the Scotties to a Section 3-A home win over Rochester.
Salmen (1-0) went the distance, giving up seven hits and two runs — one earned.
Carrington Bell belted a double for the Scotties (1-1, 1-1). Devan Schuller knocked in three runs for the winners.
“We played much better; it’s nice to get that first win,” first-year Union coach Mark Stanley said. “Joe Salmen really picked us up. He pitched a great game.
“We had some timely hits. But we have some work to do. We left some out there, but that will happen. I was definitely pleased with how we played.”
New Castle 0
The Vikings scored four runs in the third and five more in the fourth to take command and knock off visiting New Castle in nonsection action. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Tim Hughes belted a grand slam in the fourth inning for Hopewell (6-0).
“We walked some guys and Hughes hit a grand slam; that put us out of it,” Red Hurricane coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “We were putting some balls in play, but we struck out too many times.”
New Castle (1-3) managed just one hit.
Joe Gunn (0-1) took the loss, tossing three innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs — three earned — with five walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Ellwood City 4
The Wildcats broke the game open in the sixth inning in a Section 5-AA road win over Ellwood City. The Wolverines are the defending WPIAL Class AA champions.
Shenango scored seven runs in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie. The Wildcats left 15 runners on base.
Evan Kendall laced a bases-clearing triple in the sixth for a 7-2 margin.
“It’s always good when you beat the defending champs and it’s always good to win at Ellwood; that’s a tough place to play,” Wildcats coach Mike Othites said. “We just had so many opportunities in the first few innings. We finally broke it open in the sixth.”
Kendall had three hits, while Ryley Ferrari and Sam Sibeto added two each for the winners. Kendall drove in four runs and Sibeto supplied two.
Tyler Booher (2-0) picked up the win. Booher went the whole way, giving up 10 hits and four runs — three earned — with a walk and three strikeouts.
“Our pitching has been really good this year,” Othites said. “One thing that’s a strength for us right now is our pitching.
“Booher was very efficient; I’m very pleased with his performance.”
Zach Mathias registered three hits for Ellwood City, while Tanner Walsh and Colin Roth banged out two apiece.
Inexperience caught up to Laurel in a Section 5-AA decision at Beaver.
The Spartans (1-1, 1-2) held on to a 2-0 lead after four innings until errors cost Laurel three runs and the lead in the fifth.
“We have inexperienced players out there. It’s a frustrating loss because Josh (Dando) pitched unbelievably,” Spartans coach Eric Verdi said. “He did everything we asked of him.”
Dando (0-2) took the loss after six innings of work and five runs —two earned. He struck out five and issued two walks and also knocked a double at the plate.
Laurel tied it in the sixth after Nick Peluso sacrificed home R.J. Stewart on a squeeze play. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bobcats (2-0, 2-1) capitalized on an Austin Logan home run and three consecutive Spartans’ errors to retake the lead, 5-3.
“We had physical mistakes,” Verdi said. “We had six errors, and they all happened in the fifth and sixth. That’s tough to deal with.”
West Middlesex 8
Davis Smith smacked two hits and drove in four in a District 10, Region 2-AA victory over West Middlesex.
The Greyhounds put on a show for the home crowd on offense as every batter had at least one hit. Smith was 2 for 3 with two singles and two stolen bases. Ryan Brumbaugh laced two hits and was on base three times.
Wilmington (2-0, 3-0) led 10-1 heading into the seventh, but the Big Reds (1-1, 1-1) made things interesting with seven runs in the frame.
Jimmy Pitzulo (1-0) surrendered eight runs — five earned— through 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. He also added three hits offensively.
Brumbaugh closed out the game with a strikeout for his second save.
Union scored five runs in the first inning and cruised to a Section 4-A home win over Aliquippa. The game was stopped after three innings because of the mercy rule.
LaSha Clark, Johnna Johnston and Gina Gaibis paced the Lady Scots (2-0, 2-0) with three RBIs each. Clark and Johnston each singled and Gaibis contributed a double. Allison Bertolino tallied a triple and an RBI for the winners.
Ariel Junkin (2-0) tossed three innings, allowing two hits and three unearned runs with one walk and nine strikeouts.
Union scored four runs in the second and nine more in the third. The Lady Quips (0-3, 0-3) scored all three of their runs in the third. Union has outscored the opposition 36-9 in two games.
“We didn’t play with the focus we did on Thursday against Quigley,” Lady Scots coach Gary Trimble said. “Ariel pitched well and we were patient at the plate and hit the ball hard.”
New Castle 3
The Lady ’Canes recorded eight hits in a Section 1-AAA home loss to Ambridge.
Christina Evans notched two hits for New Castle (0-2, 1-4).
Carley Aven (0-3) suffered the loss. Aven pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and six runs — three earned — with four walks and a pair of strikeouts.
The Lady Bridgers (2-0, 3-0) scored a run in the first, three in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and two more in the seventh. New Castle scored all three of its runs in the seventh.
West Middlesex 2
Abby Sotter pitched the Lady Greyhounds to their second win of the season in nonsection play against visiting West Middlesex.
Sotter collected seven strikeouts and allowed four hits, two runs and one earned run through seven innings. She settled down to pitch five shutout innings after surrendering two runs through two.
“She’s a veteran. She’s been pitching for four years. She knows what she’s doing,” Wilmington’s first-year coach Tom Reed said. “She hasn’t hit a groove yet, but she knows what she’s doing.”
The Lady ’Hounds (2-0) trailed 2-1 after two innings. A single by Courtney Cohen drove in two runners to give the team a 3-2 advantage. Cassidy Marett also contributed to a 12-hit offensive performance with a single and two doubles. Lexi Donati chipped in two doubles and added two RBIs and Alanna Elliott ripped three singles.
“A couple girls stepped up and had a couple big hits,” Reed said. “Everyone was putting the bat on the ball.”
South Side Beaver 8,
The Lady Wildcats let one slip away in eight innings to visiting South Side Beaver in Section 4-A action.
Shenango (2-1, 3-3) took a 6-3 lead into the seventh inning, but timely hitting and three runs by the Lady Rams (3-0, 3-0) sent the game into extra innings.
“The girls were fine mentally. We just knew we needed to get those last couple outs,” Lady Wildcats coach Amy Delaney said. “They came up with some big hits. You have to give it to South Side. They had clutch hits when they needed them.”
South Side Beaver took home the victory in the eighth inning on a few hiccups by Shenango. Starter Macy Rubin (3-3) walked the first batter to begin the inning and the runner eventually advanced to third on a passed ball. Rubin went eight innings with eight earned runs against, 10 strikeouts and two walks.
“South Side is a good team and you need to play a complete game against them,” Delaney said. “They were just the better team. You have to play a flawless game, and we didn’t.”
Shenango’s Alyssa White went 2 for 2 with two singles, two walks and a team-high three RBIs. Kim Burdett drove in two runs.
The Lady Wildcats recorded five total hits and drew six walks but failed to deliver an impact swing to put the game away.
“We were kind of looking for that one big hit and we never really got it,” Delaney said. “We were definitely getting on base and were patient at the plate, but we just weren’t able to capitalize.”
The Lady Lancers continued their winning ways in Section 4-A action against visiting Rochester.
Neshannock (3-0, 3-0) started where it left off on offense its first two games, ending the contest after three innings via the mercy rule. The Lady Lancers have tallied 52 runs in three games, all ending in the mercy rule.
Rachel Iorio drilled three triples and a single and knocked in four runs. Madison Altmyer slapped a double and three total hits with four RBIs. Marissa DeMatteo added a triple.
Madison Shaffer (3-0) faced 10 batters and struck out nine of them, walking the other. For the season, Shaffer has pitched six innings with 17 strikeouts.
Said Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel, “The team’s playing well and we’re hitting the ball well.”
Neshannock scored a clean sweep of Central Valley.
Max Watters (No. 1), Joe Bullano (No. 2) and Nick Hautala (No. 3) earned singles for the Lancers. Hautala’s verdict was by forfeit.
Neshannock (4-2,4-2) took both doubles events as well with the teams of Mike Maciarello and Connor Richards (No. 1) and Nick Montini and Mitch Cialella (No. 2) notching victories.
Following are the results:
Neshannock 5, Central Valley 0
1. Max Watters (N) def. George Dietrich 6-3, 6-2.
2. Joe Bullano (N) def. Andrew Bean 6-0, 6-0.
3. Nick Hautala (N) won by forfeit.
1. Mike Maciarello/Connor Richards (N) def. Caleb Goss/Jack Zheng 6-0, 6-0.
2. Nick Montini/Mitch Cialella (N) def. Caleb Porto/Levi Sese 6-0, 6-0.