NEW CASTLE —
Defense fell apart yesterday for the Laurel High baseball team.
The Spartans committed seven errors in a 5-2 WPIAL Section 5-AA loss to visiting Beaver Falls.
“I told them it was like we went back in time,” Laurel coach Eric Verdi said. “I’ll take the full blame. We weren’t ready to play and my job is to get them ready to play. I will make sure it is corrected.”
The Spartans (9-5 section, 9-7 overall) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Ritchie tripled in Josh Dando to tie the contest at 1. R.J. Stewart gave the hosts a 2-1 advantage by grounding into a fielder’s choice, plating Ritchie.
But Beaver Falls (4-10, 4-12) rallied with four runs in the seventh to earn the win. Cole Krut’s two-run single put the Tigers up for good.
Dando (4-4) took the loss, pitching 6 1/3 innings. He surrendered seven hits and five runs — two earned — with three walks and four strikeouts.
Jordan Ransom went the whole way to pick up the win, holding Laurel to three hits and an earned run with six walks and 12 strikeouts.
“The kid threw well and we didn’t make plays,” Verdi said. “Jordan pitched very well. And it was definitely by no means a good effort by our part defensively, either.”
It was the regular season finale for Laurel, which will compete in the WPIAL playoffs. The district will announce the baseball pairings Friday.
New Castle 7,
Shady Side Aca. 2
Adam Vastano pitched the Red Hurricane to a nonsection win over Shady Side Academy.
Vastano (2-4) picked up the win, tossing seven innings. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Indians (12-6) scored both of their runs in the first inning before Vastano settled down.
“They came out swinging in the first inning,” New Castle coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “Adam settled in and threw well; we played good defense behind him, too.”
Sean Coyne notched two of the ’Canes’ seven hits.
“Sean did well,” Malley said. “He was back driving the ball for base hits. He finished up his career with a good game; I’m glad to see it.”
The ’Canes (6-12) scored three runs in the third and four in the fifth.