NEW CASTLE —
Big innings just kept coming for the Union High baseball team.
The Scotties battered Laurel’s pitching in a 13-9, nonsection showdown between two promising ballclubs.
The Scotties (2-1), who pounded out 13 hits, scored four runs in the first inning, five in the second and four in the fifth to outslug the Spartans (2-1).
Union’s John Hilke led the home team, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Mike Vitullo went 2 for 3 with four RBIs and a run scored. He hit a two-run triple in the second inning. Carrington Bell, who was 2 for 3, had a big hit in the second as well, smacking a two-RBI double. Also taking part in the hit parade were Kody Smith (2 for 5 with two runs) and Drew Robinson (2 for 2 with two runs scored).
“The kids have been working hard to find their swings, and they found them,” Union coach Gene DiGennaro said. “The bats finally broke out. The first four games — two scrimmages, two games — we weren’t hitting the ball all that well, but they finally found it.”
Laurel hit the ball well, too, scoring one in the first, two in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth and four in the seventh. R.J. Stewart tagged two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs. Dylan Jones came through with two hits and two RBIs, while Rick Jones added a double and a single. Mike Hudson posted a pair of singles.
Kyle Forbes (0-1) took the loss, pitching one-plus inning and yielding seven runs, four walks and four hits.
Joe Salmen (1-0) earned the win by pitching six-plus innings with four strikeouts, four walks, seven hits and seven runs (six earned).
New Castle 7,
Grove City 6
Justin Fleo scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to lift New Castle to a nonconference home win over Grove City.
With two outs and the game tied 6-6 in the eighth, Fleo singled. He stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Grove City’s shortstop overthrew the first baseman on a grounder by Vinny Jannetti.
Fleo, coming off knee surgery over the summer, paced the Red Hurricane (2-1) with three singles. Sean Coyne also collected three hits. He tripled to leadoff the seventh and scored to tie the game at 6 when Julian Cox hit an RBI single. It was one of three hits for Cox, who also doubled.
“We shuffled the lineup around a little bit today,” said New Castle coach Paul Malley Jr., who had Fleo lead off, with Coyne the No. 3 hitter and Cox at No. 5. “The top of the lineup scored most of the runs, and we stole six bases, so we did a lot of the little things right.”
Coyne started and allowed four runs — three earned — while striking out one and walking three. Adam Vastano (1-0) came on in relief and picked up the victory as he allowed two runs (one earned) over three innings, striking out two and walking two.
“We lost the lead a couple times, but they answered the call against a good team,” Malley said. “They fought the whole way.”