NEW CASTLE —
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.”