NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High baseball team is ready to play with the big boys.
The Lancers welcomed themselves back to the WPIAL Class AA ranks with a Section 5 win over visiting Ellwood City Lincoln, 8-6.
It was a battle of two WPIAL champions from a season ago. The Wolverines took home the Class AA crown and Neshannock won Class A gold.
“Any time you’re playing Ellwood City, it’s a battle and it’s a game,” Lancers coach Mike Kirkwood said. “The last time we were in AA, we won the section outright. We’re trying to show our kids we can play with anybody.”
Neshannock (1-0 section, 4-0 overall) got on the scoreboard early with six runs through two innings. Ernie Burkes and John Conglose were key for the Lancers, getting on base three times each. Burkes was 2 for 3 with a walk and three stolen bases, including a steal of home to give the team a 5-0 lead, and Conglose was 1 for 2 with a triple, two walks and an RBI.
“You get John and Ernie on base, they’re fast. It’s nice,” Kirkwood said. “It kind of puts you in a good situation with that.”
The Wolverines (0-1, 0-4) got back into the game in the third with four runs, but were not able to overcome early-inning struggles.
“That’s a hostile place to play and we’re so young,” Ellwood coach Jeff Fotia said. “I thought as the game went on, we settled in better.”
Leaving runners on base was a theme for the Wolverines in the later innings as they stranded 11 total. In the sixth, Ellwood left the bases loaded and followed the next inning with two men left on base. Tony Joseph tallied two hits and two RBIs for the Wolverines.
“We just didn’t get done what we had to do,” Fotia said. “They never quit. They battled and stayed in there.”
Conglose (2-0) registered the win after pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing four unearned runs and three hits.
“He’s such a competitor. One of my rules is if you can compete, you pitch for me. He’s working extremely hard and mixing up pitches well,” Kirkwood said. “It was hard for both sides to throw strikes. He showed us what he can do by really battling.”
Beaver Falls 1
Wildcats pitching was able to work out of several jams in a victory over Section 5-AA rival Beaver Falls.
The Wildcats (1-0, 3-1) took a quick 4-0 lead on the road in the first inning, highlighted by a Sam Sibeto two-run double. It was all the scoring they would need, as the combination of pitchers Rob Montanari and Evan Kendall stranded nine Tigers batters the rest of the way. Beaver Falls (0-1, 0-1) outhit Shenango 9-5.
“It was a very strange game and we just jumped all over them the first inning, but our bats just went silent,” Wildcats coach Mike Othites said. “I was really pleased by our pitching performance from Robby and Kendall. It was well played by both teams.”
Montanari (2-1) pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering seven hits and striking out six. Kendall came into the game in a bases-loaded situation in the fifth and forced a popup and a strikeout to end the threat. Kendall picked up his first career save, going 2 2/3 innings and allowing one run on two hits.
New Castle 3
Eight errors got in the way of New Castle and a victory in a nonsection loss to visiting Ambridge.
“You’re not going to beat anybody with eight errors,” Red Hurricane coach Paul Malley said. “We’re not giving ourselves a shot to win the game there.”
Pitcher Adam Vastano (0-1) picked up the loss, giving up six hits and seven runs —only one of which was earned —through five innings. The Bridgers (2-0) collected five of their runs in an error-filled fifth inning.
The ’Canes (1-2) received all of their runs in the sixth with Mark Graziani earning an RBI on a sacrifice fly, Christian Haybarger slapping in a runner on a single and another run coming from a fielder’s choice.
Brandon Ritchie struck out 16 Warriors batters to propel Laurel at home in a Section 5-AA matchup.
“It was a very well-pitched game. We needed Brandon to have a big day on the mound and at the plate,” Spartans coach Eric Verdi said. “He needs to be the best player on the field for us every time he takes the field. He stepped up and lived up to what he needs to do for us.”
Ritchie (1-0) went a full seven innings in the game and allowed just one unearned run on three hits.
Laurel (1-0, 1-1) didn’t find the scoreboard until Ritchie, a George Washington University recruit, smacked an RBI triple in the fifth. R.J. Stewart followed with a base hit to drive in Ritchie for the game-winning run.
Mohawk (0-1,0-2) was held in check offensively for the game. Pitcher Aaron DeSantis (0-1) was able to keep the Warriors in it by allowing two runs through six innings.
“I felt bad for Aaron because he pitched very, very well, but Ritchie obviously did, too,” Mohawk coach Kevin Sapp said. “Ritchie was very effective. I don’t necessarily know what aspect of his game was giving our boys the most trouble. Unfortunately, we had too many called third strikes. I don’t know if we were guessing wrong or getting fooled by those pitches.”
Western Beaver 10,
The Scotties started their Section 3-A season off on the wrong foot at Western Beaver.
Union (0-1, 0-1) was held to two hits and didn’t score against Golden Beavers starter Nick Miller.
“Nick Miller is a good pitcher,” said Mark Stanley, who was making his baseball coaching debut for the Scotties. “He’s one of the top pitchers in the section. He kept us off balance and pitched a good game. He’s one of the better pitchers we’ll see and he proved it today.”
Miller pitched a complete game shutout, issuing three walks and three strikeouts.
The Scotties allowed five errors in the contest, but it was the walks by the pitching staff that concerns their new head coach more.
“We have to pound the strike zone,” he said. “The walks were worse than the errors in the later innings.”
Devan Schuller recorded the loss after being pulled through four innings because of a pitch count. He allowed three runs —one earned —on three hits.
Western Beaver (1-0, 1-0) had three hitters with multiple hits —Steve Menich, Steve Robsin and Robert Ranone. Ranone notched a double and had two RBIs.
The Lady Wildcats opened Section 4-A play in dominant fashion.
A 13-run second inning was aided by a total of 17 walks and solid baserunning from Shenango on the road. The Lady Wildcats (1-0, 2-2) won by the mercy rule after the third inning.
“The girls did a great job baserunning and definitely took advantage of the walks from Aliquippa’s pitchers,” Shenango coach Amy Delaney said. “We were able to run the bases well once we put the ball in play.”
Shelby McCart finished 1 for 1 on offense and walked twice. She had a team-high five RBIs.
“Shelby’s been playing really well,” Delaney said. “She’s definitely been coming up big in the six spot for us. She’s definitely one that has been a nice addition to the lineup this year.”
Macy Rubin (2-2) retired all nine Lady Quips she faced, striking out eight in the win.
“For the three innings and the nine batters she faced, only one batter put the ball in play,” Delaney said. “She pitched well, I thought.
“It’s nice to open up section with a win. We’ll definitely take it.”
The Lady Warriors generated plenty of offense in Section 5-AA action at Freedom, opening their 2013 season with a five-inning win.
“I’m proud of how our girls played,” Mohawk coach Pam Beatty. “The girls hit the ball hard and hit the ball well.”
The score was a 15-1 Lady Warriors’ advantage after four innings and the team tacked on 10 more in the fifth.
No other information was reported.
Lancers take two
Neshannock doubled up on wins against Riverside at the North Beaver Tennis Center.
The Lancers finished a match that was postponed from March 19, 4-1, and also took an abbreviated decision, 3-1.
Nick Hautala (No. 3) earned two singles victories for Neshannock (3-2, 3-2). Nick Montini and Mitch Cialella (No. 1) also enjoyed two triumphs for the Lancers in doubles competition.
Following are the results:
Neshannock 4, Riverside 1
1. Max Watters (N) def. Damian Cicchinelli 7-5, 6-4.
2. Andrew Calve (R) def. Joe Bullano 6-4, 3-6, 7-6.
3. Nick Hautala (N) def. Jordan Boring 6-3, 7-5.
1. Mike Maciarello/Connor Richards (N) def. Colin Steinnets/Cody Steigenwald 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.
2. Nick Montini/Mitch Cialella (N) def. Jarret Cookham/Connor Nomhoff 6-2, 6-2.
Neshannock 3, Riverside 1
1. Damian Cicchinelli (R) def. Max Watters 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
2. Joe Bullano (N) def. Andrew Calve 7-5, 7-5.
3. Nick Hautala (N) def. Jordan Boring 6-2, 6-0.
1. Mike Maciarello/Connor Richards (N) def. Colin Steinnets/Cody Steigenwald 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.
2. Nick Montini/Mitch Cialella (N) draw Tyler Squiecquero/Connor Nomhoff 7-6, 7-5.
1. Casey Getick/Josh Voland (N) won.
NEW CASTLE —
The Neshannock High baseball team is ready to play with the big boys.
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