New Castle News


April 15, 2014

Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 14

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock High baseball team passed a big test last night.

The host Lancers answered a late Laurel surge with a single run in the sixth inning to escape with a 6-4 win in WPIAL Section 5-AA action.

Neshannock (6-0 section, 10-0 overall) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first and made it stick until the fourth inning. The Lancers plated two runs over the next two innings to take a 5-0 lead.

“We knew it was going to be close,” said Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood. “It was great to be in a game where you have to keep fighting. The kids were thinking from one moment that we didn’t have a game to another where we had a game. It was a roller coaster ride.”

Trailing 5-0, the Spartans (0-6, 0-8) chased Neshannock started Don Colucci in the top of the sixth with three-straight singles. Rich Serignese was greeted with back-to-back doubles from Spencer Pullium and Tucker Skerbetz as Laurel pulled to within 5-4.

“These kids are never going to quit,” Laurel coach Eric Verdi said. “They’re never going to lay down for anybody. They’re tough, hard-nosed kids. We strung together four or five good hits and got some confidence going.”

After Laurel’s second double of the inning, Serignese got out of the inning with three strikeouts.

“It was huge to get of there without them getting another hit or another run,” Kirkwood said.

Neshannock made it a two-run game with a single run in the bottom of the sixth.

Colucci earned the win by allowing three runs and five hits over five innings, while striking out three. Serignese earned his second save by working the final two innings. He gave up three hits and struck out four.

 “He was efficient,” said Kirkwood, who reported Colucci only threw 66 pitches. “Laurel hits the ball. We were able to get some outs on some hard hit balls. He did a real nice job. He only had one walk on the day. Him being our third pitcher really helps when he can throw strikes and we can play defense behind him.”

Jake Swope and Matt Natale each had two hits, while Natale also drove in two runs for Neshannock.

Nick Peluso and R.J. Stewart registered two hits for Laurel.

“The kids are competing,” Verdi said. “They fought hard. We hit the ball. We had what I call atom balls. We got good contact. They were just right at people. The kids aren’t defeated. They’re trying to get a win for themselves.”

Chris Peluso took the loss. Peluso gave up five earned runs on nine hits, while striking out five and walking two.

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