NEW CASTLE —
The struggles continued for the Laurel High baseball team yesterday.
Riverside tied the game in the third and put the game away in the middle innings for a 14-2 WPIAL Section 5-AA road win over the Spartans.
The game was stopped after six innings because of the mercy rule.
Laurel (0-10 section, 0-12 overall) was held to just one hit by Mitch Connolly.
Chris Peluso (0-4) started and took the loss. Peluso worked four innings, allowing seven hits and eight runs — five earned — with four walks and a strikeout.
Riverside (8-2, 9-3) scored two runs in the second, three in fourth, six in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
The Spartans plated a pair of tallies in the bottom of the first.
Beaver Falls 3
The Lancers are going back to the WPIAL playoffs.
Neshannock, which missed the district playoffs by a game last year after a lengthy postseason dominance, cruised to a Section 5-AA road win under the lights against the Tigers.
“We didn’t talk much about it,” Lancers coach Mike Kirkwood said of his team after the game regarding the postseason berth. “You kind of want to wait until later in the season when you can reflect on it.
“Last year gave us a bitter taste in our mouth. It was kind of motivation in the offseason for our players to get some work in and do some things.”
Ernie Burkes and Jake Swope paced Neshannock (10-0, 14-0) with two hits each. Frank Fraschetti knocked in two runs as well.
Rich Serignese (5-0) picked up the win. Serignese started and worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs — none earned — with two walks and six strikeouts.
“Serignese threw well,” Kirkwood said. “They swung the bats well. They weren’t getting fooled much, but he did a nice job.
“We made a couple of errors behind him or else he might have been able to finish the game.”
The Lancers led 1-0 after four innings. They broke the game open with seven runs in the top of the fifth and another tally in the seventh.
Beaver Falls (2-7, 3-8) scored a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Neshannock came into the season unranked in the district rankings. The Lancers are currently ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We were kind of the underdog coming in,” Kirkwood said. “I don’t care about the rankings right now. I want to be No. 1 at the end of the year.
“We want to get better every day and we need to do the little things well all the time. We don’t talk much about playoffs or winning anything right now. We just want to play hard and keep working hard.”