New Castle News

Sports

May 5, 2012

Spring Sports: A roundup of action from May 4

NEW CASTLE — The news was bad yesterday for the Shenango High baseball team.

Needing a win and holding a four-run lead in the seventh, the Wildcats gave up five runs and dropped an 8-7 WPIAL Section 5-AA matchup to South Side Beaver.

The loss eliminates Shenango (7-6 section, 10-9 overall) from the playoffs. The visiting Wildcats needed a win over South Side Beaver (5-8, 11-8) and another victory on Monday against Laurel to reach the playoffs.

“I feel bad for my seniors,” Shenango coach Mike Othites said. “Once again, we’re going to fall a game short.

“It’s a disheartening loss.”

Wildcats starter Brent McCormick worked 62⁄3 innings. He got the first two outs of the seventh before allowing a hit, a walk and another hit. On a 3-2 pitch to the next batter, McCormick just missed the strike zone and walked in a run.

Othites pulled McCormick and put in Brayden Davies. The host Rams registered three consecutive hits off Davies (2-3) to cap the comeback and post the win.

“You go with your gut sometimes. But my gut failed me,” Othites said. “Davies threw his best.

“I give their hitters credit, they placed them perfectly; they did a nice job at the plate.”

McCormick allowed six hits and seven runs — all earned — with two walks and two strikeouts.

Brett Chieze paced the Wildcats with three hits and Dane Gecina added a pair. Gecina drove in two runs as well.

Shenango’s last trip to the WPIAL playoffs was in 2003 under Jan Budai. The Wildcats were looking like a good bet to end that slump this year, owning victories over Ellwood City (11-2, 17-2) and Riverside (12-1, 15-4).

“We were a little bit inconsistent this year,” Othites said. “I thought we overcame a lot and I thought my young kids did a nice job.

“Most of my staff is sophomores and that’s a good thing. Hopefully there’s brightness in our future. This one will bother me for a long time.”

The Wolverines are ranked No. 3 in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Panthers, the defending WPIAL and Class AA champions, are ranked No. 1.

The WPIAL baseball pairings will be announced Friday.

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