NEW CASTLE —
The Ellwood City Lincoln High baseball team started off section play in a big way yesterday.
The Wolverines banged out 15 hits as a team and two pitchers combined to handcuff Mohawk in an 11-1 WPIAL Section 5-AA victory at Ellwood’s Ewing Park.
“It was a nice win, but we still have a lot of work ahead,” Ellwood City coach Jeff Fotia said.
The Wolverines (1-0 section, 5-0 overall) are off to their best start in more than a decade.
Matt Germanoski, Greg Linn, Anthony Carusone and Justin Vetica recorded two hits each for the Wolverines. Linn knocked in a pair of runs.
Carusone (1-0) started and earned the win. He worked three innings, allowing two hits and an unearned run with a walk and three strikeouts.
Vince Magnifico came in for Carusone and tossed three innings, surrendering three hits and no runs with no walks and four strikeouts.
“The good thing about it from today is we have all our pitching for Wednesday,” Fotia said. “Our pitchers did what they had to do.”
Fotia was pointing to tomorrow’s key section road clash against Shenango (1-0, 3-2).
Tyler Rader and Frank Shaffer posted two hits each for the Warriors.
Aaron DeSantis started and suffered the loss. DeSantis pitched two innings, allowing six hits and five runs — four earned — with three walks and a strikeout.
“DeSantis was pitching to contact,” Mohawk coach Kevin Sapp said. “I don’t expect him to be a strikeout pitcher, but he can definitely get strikeouts.”
Mohawk (0-1, 1-4) scored a run in the top of the first, but Ellwood City answered with three in the first, two in the second and two more in the third. Three Warriors errors helped extend innings for Ellwood City.
“That’s a tough way to open section play, against a good team like Ellwood,” Sapp said. “It’s never easy going up against them.
“You can’t give them extra outs. Any time you give a team like that extra outs it will haunt you.”
Alex Welker made sure the returning WPIAL Class A champions started the section portion of their schedule strong.
Welker picked up the win in a 14-4 WPIAL Section 3-A victory over host Rochester. Welker struck out four, walked one and didn’t allow a hit in four innings. He also shined at the plate, going 2 for 4 with two triples, five RBIs and two runs.
Welker provided a pair of two-run triples, including one in the second inning and another in a five-run fifth. The game was called after six innings because of the mercy rule, giving the Lancers (1-0 section, 4-2 overall) their first section win.
“We played a pretty good nonconference schedule, so it was good to see (those good teams), and I think it got us ready for our section,” Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood said.
The Lancers, who notched 11 hits — including five extra-base hits — struck for four runs in the second, four in the fourth, one in the fifth and five in the sixth. John Sansone added to the offense by going 2 for 2 (both doubles) with three runs. Matt Cioffi went 2 for 2, including a triple, with three runs and two RBIs, while John Conglose was 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Welker made sure the offense held up with a near-flawless performance.
“He got his curve ball over for a strike, had a good fastball, got ahead in the count and he mixed his pitches well,” said Kirkwood, who was equally pleased with Welker’s offense. “He’s been swinging the bat pretty decently, but he hasn’t had much to show for it — kids made some nice plays on him and there were a few other things — but he had some bad luck, so it was good to see him come through today.”
Rochester (0-1, 0-5) was led by Todd Weischebel, who was 2 for 2 with an RBI. The Rams amassed four total hits.
New Brighton 2
The Shenango High baseball team put its speed to good use yesterday.
The Wildcats stole 10 bases and broke the game open in the third inning in a 12-2 WPIAL Section 5-AA win over New Brighton. Anthony Prestopine swiped three of the bags for Shenango.
The Wildcats scored five runs in the third to push the lead to 8-2. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
“I’m very happy with the performance,” Wildcats coach Mike Othites said. “We were able to run a little bit and we were able to get on them early.
“We got some timely hits and that helped, too.”
The game was played on Shenango’s field because New Brighton’s is being renovated. The Lions were designated the home team.
Prestopine led Shenango with three hits, while scoring three runs. Brett Chieze added two hits and a pair of runs scored.
Dane Gecina (1-0) earned the win, pitching five innings. Gecina allowed seven hits and two earned runs with two walks and three strikeouts.
“That was a good pitching performance from Dane,” Othites said. “He got ahead of the batters and he mixed his pitches well.”
Gecina drove in three runs, while Doug Bennett chipped in with two.
New Castle 2
The visiting Vikings rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to grab the Section 1-AAA road win at Flaherty Field.
The Red Hurricane (0-1, 3-2) led, 2-1, after four innings, but Hopewell (1-0, 5-0) rallied to tie it at 2 in the top of the sixth.
“They got timely hits. They are supposed to be one of the favorites in the section. We were right there with them with minimal hits, so that’s a positive,” New Castle coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “At the same time, it stings when we were tied heading into the seventh. We have a young squad. Every game in the section will be a battle like this.”
Johnny Matarazzo and Michael Mazzanti led New Castle, which was limited to five total hits, with two singles apiece.
South Side 4
The Spartans jumped to a 5-2 lead and held on for the Section 5-AA home win.
South Side Beaver (0-1, 5-1) scored a run in the top of the first, but Laurel (1-0, 5-1) rallied to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. The Spartans erupted for three runs in the bottom of the second and held a 5-2 edge through three innings. They held on as the guests got a run back in the fourth and fifth innings.
Brandon Ritchie (3-0) earned the mound win. He scattered five hits and allowed two earned runs. He walked one and struck out nine.
“It was a good baseball game. We are far from where I think we need to be defensively, though,” Laurel coach Eric Verdi said. “We made a few mistakes in the field to give them some runs. Brandon did a good job holding the fort and keeping their damage to a minimum.”
Todd Fennick led Laurel offensively with a triple and a single. He drove in three runs. Matt Armagost added a pair of hits in the win.
The Scotties pounded out 20 hits en route to the road triumph to open Section 1-A action.
Union (1-0, 3-2) plated eight runs in the top of the first to take command. The Quips (0-1, 0-1) trimmed their deficit to 12-3 after two, but the Scotties tallied five more runs in the top of the third and cruised to the mercy-rule win in five innings.
Kody Smith led Union at the plate as he had a double and three singles. Wayne Seamans tripled and had two singles, while Devan Schuller collected three hits.
Joe Salmen (2-0) earned the win. He struck out six and yielded three earned runs.
New Castle 6,
Beaver Falls 1
Shannon Dudich paced New Castle to a nonsection home win over Beaver Falls.
Dudich registered two hits and a pair of RBIs. She earned the win in the circle as well, tossing a complete game.
Dudich (1-3) scattered five hits with an earned run, striking out six and walking none.
“Shannon pitched an excellent game and she helped herself at the plate,” second-year Lady ’Canes coach Leah Ann Williams said.
Alyea Cioffi and Dana Perrotta posted three hits each for New Castle, while Aleigha Withrow followed with a pair.
The Lady ’Canes (1-3) broke a scoreless battle with five runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth. The Lady Tigers plated their marker in the top of the fifth.
Host Neshannock rallied from a 4-0 deficit to rout nonsection foe Wilmington.
The Lady Lancers (4-0) scored five runs in the third for a 5-4 advantage, before tacking on seven more in the fourth.
“It seems like we’ve been scoring in bunches,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “We’ve been getting off to slow starts. But once we start scoring, we put them up pretty fast.
“This is a big win for us. Wilmington is a pretty good team. This was a test for us; a measuring stick.”
Amanda Furst (4-0) earned the win. Furst worked five innings, giving up seven hits and five earned runs with one walk and five strikeouts.
Furst delivered two hits and four RBIs, including a solo homer in the fifth that ended the game.
Madison Shaffer paced the Lady Lancers with three hits, including a three-run triple.
Katie Burrelli, Rachel Iorio, Jamie Graziani and Marissa DeMatteo posted two hits apiece for the winners. DeMatteo knocked in two runs as well.
Cassidy Marett, Mackenzie Hiers and Courtney Cohen contributed two hits each for the Lady Greyhounds.
Abby Sotter took the loss.
Ellwood City 4,
Ellwood City’s Amanda Stiles scored the game-winning run on an error in the top of the eighth in a nonsection win over host Mohawk.
“It’s a tough a way to lose,” Lady Warriors coach Pam Beatty said. “We did battle back and we hit the ball hard.
“We just couldn’t get enough timely hits.”
Jaki Bender (1-2) took the loss in relief. Bender pitched five innings, giving up three hits and two runs — one earned — with no walks and four strikeouts.
Lucia Fee, Devon Giancola and Hannah Morrow recorded two hits each for Mohawk (3-2).
The Lancers lost just one match in dominating Section 2-AA rival Riverside on the road, 4-1.
Jono Acosta (No. 2) and Max Watters (No. 3) earned singles wins for Neshannock (6-0, 6-0).
The doubles tandems of Mark Bleggi/Ethan McCarthy (No. 1) and Anthony Martone/James Jolley (No. 2) also posted wins.
“Our guys got off to a bit of a slow start, but once they got into the groove of the match, they were able to settle down,” Lancers coach Chuck Dess said. “We found our timing and rhythm and got rolling.”
Following are the results:
Neshannock 4, Riverside 1
1. Kevin Houghton (R) def. Eric Salle 6-0, 6-1.
2. Jono Acosta (N) def. Dante Nardulli 6-4, 7-5.
3. Max Watters (N) def. Damian Cicchinelli 6-1, 6-2.
1. Mark Bleggi/Ethan McCarthy (N) def. Brandon Melfi/Mark Burggi 6-2, 6-3.
2. Anthony Martone/James Jolley (N) Tom Mansfield/Dante Cicchinelli 6-1, 6-2.
1. Nik Bentkowski (N) won 6-1.
2. Johnny Fennick/Dylan Stevens (N) won 6-3.
3. Nick Montini/Mitch Cialella (N) .
NEW CASTLE —
The Ellwood City Lincoln High baseball team started off section play in a big way yesterday.
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