New Castle News

April 15, 2014

Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 14

By Staff
New Castle News

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.

Shenango 11,

Mohawk 0

Brent McCormick registered his third homer of the season and drove in three runs to lift the Wildcats to the Section 5-AA win over the host Warriors.

“This is what we expect him to do,” Shenango coach Mike Othites said. “He’s in a zone, not only offensively, but defensively. He’s a good leader for us. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do what he’s been doing.”

The Wildcats (4-1, 5-3) plated jumped out to a 4-0 lead after plating two runs in each of the first two innings and added a solo run in the third before breaking the game open with a five-run fourth inning. They capped the scoring with a single run in the fifth.

The game was stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule.

“They hit early and hit often,” Mohawk coach Kevin Sapp said. “We knew they’re a very good hitting team. We witnessed what they can do, that’s for sure. They were hitting for power and were hitting a lot of gaps. They could’ve beaten a lot of teams, because they were hitting the ball so well.”

Evan Kendall also had three hits and three RBIs for Shenango, while Ryley Ferrari connected on his first homer of the season and finished with two RBIs. Hunter Waskin also drove in a pair of runs.

 “We hit the ball pretty good against Laurel on Saturday and we carried that over,” Othites said. “We had some good timely hitting and good pitching that usually adds up to a pretty good win.

“Ferrari has made some adjustments at the plate. He’s starting to feel a little better and is starting to come around, which is great. It helps when the team is scoring runs around you.”

Tyler Booher improved to 3-1 on the season by scattering four hits over five innings and striking out five.

“He’s being Tyler,” Othites said. “We know when he’s out there that he’s going to give us a certain amount of hits, a certain amount of strikeouts and a certain amount of walks. We know when he goes out there he’s going to be around the plate and the other team is going to put it in play. We just need to make the plays behind him. He’s been starting for me since he was a freshman and gotten better and better. He’s showing what he can do.”

Mohawk (2-4, 3-5) had several hard shots right at Shenango fielders.

“A couple of the balls we hit were right at people,” Sapp said. “Tyler had batters off balance. You could tell, because we had a couple weak ground balls back to the pitcher. That’s a pretty good indicator that he had them off balance.

“I still feel like were due for a few bleeders. In so many of our losses, we’ve had the bad luck of hitting them right at people. It usually balances out over the course of a season and I try to remind the kids that.”

Luc Tyler lasted 3 1/3 innings, surrendering nine runs on nine hits and a walk.

“Luc normally has pretty good control,” Sapp said. “He’ll get his strikeouts here and there. He has to pitch to contact and trust the defense behind him. He had a good mindset and was ready. It was one of those nights where Shenango took advantage of his mistakes.”


Laurel 13,

Freedom 0

Senior Erin LaFrance blasted her first home run of the season and drove in three runs to lift the Lady Spartans to the Section 5-AA road victory.

Makenna Natale tossed a no-hitter, striking out 10 and walking one batter in a game halted after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Laurel (4-2, 4-2) claimed its fourth win in a row by plating two runs in the first, four apiece in the third and fourth innings and three in the fifth.

“It was a good win,” Lady Spartans coach Lori Krol said. “These wins have been against teams that we lost to last year. I told them to compare this year to last year to see how much we’ve improved. We’ve been in the gym since December. The hard work is paying off. Our motto is one inning at a time. This is a good team with good attitudes. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Rachael Baker, Delaney Baumis and Lauren Boston each ripped two hits for the Lady Spartans, while Boston also had three RBIs.

“Offensively, our bats have come alive,” Krol said. “This is the fourth game in a row where we hit the ball hard. It wasn’t one or two people. It was our entire lineup.”

New Castle 8,

Ambridge 4

The Lady ’Canes knocked the host Lady Bridgers from the ranks of the unbeatens with the Section 1-AAA victory that was delayed about a half-hour due to the weather.

New Castle (2-3, 3-3) pounded out 11 hits, while scoring two runs in the second and fifth innings, three in the fourth and a single tally in the seventh.

“This was a big, big section win,” Lady ’Canes coach Leah Ann Williams said. “I think we really caught them off guard. This is a huge win for us. We dug ourselves a hole in the section — starting 0-2 — but we’re rolling right now. We’re back in the hunt in the section.”

Jenna Frank went 3 for 3 with her first homer of the season and drove in four runs, while Allie DoVidio had doubled twice and had three RBIs.

“The kids hit the ball really well,” Williams said. “They all produced. I’m super happy. The hits were all timely. We were able to get kids moving around the bases.”

Alyea Cioffi picked up the win by scattering five hits and striking out two.

“She pitched really smart,” Williams said. “She changed her speeds and moved the ball around. We played error-free ball, which is surprising with how wet the field was. I was really happy with the defense.”

The New Castle JV team posted a 12-0 in 12 innings. Nicole Priscilla, Paige Shaftic and Haley Piatt each had multiple hits for the Lady ’Canes.

Boys tennis

Neshannock rolls

The Lancers swept the singles matches and picked up a win at second doubles in a 4-1 WPIAL Section 2-AA match at Brady’s Run Park.

Neshannock is now 3-7 in the section and 3-7 overall.

Following are the results:

Neshannock 4, Beaver Falls 1


1. Nik Bentkowski (N) def. Clay Barnes 7-5, 6-4.

2. Logan Nawrocki (N) def. Gino Osso 6-1, 6-3

3. Aaron Maggi (N) won by forfeit.


1. Ashton Dargartz/Colby Varous (BF) def. Chris Clark/Robert Kwiat 6-3, 6-3.

2. Nick Przywarty/Tanner Lehett (N) def. Malik Buffaloe/Jacob Cumberledge 6-3, 6-3.