By Ron Poniewasz Jr. and Andrew Petyak
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The Wilmington High baseball team came up just short in an upset bid yesterday.
Sharpsville scored a run in the top of the seventh and hung on for a 9-8 District 10, Region 2-AA win over the host Greyhounds.
Wilmington (6-4 region, 7-4 overall) was retired in order in the seventh. The Blue Devils (9-1, 11-3) are the top-ranked team in District 10 by the Erie Times.
“We know Sharpsville hits the ball well,” Greyhounds coach Garett Malinak said. “They’re not ranked No. 1 in District 10 for no reason.
“I’m so proud of how our guys fought. We just couldn’t push that winning run across.”
Wilmington banged out 15 hits, led by leadoff hitter Nate Anthony. Anthony was 4 for 4, including a solo home run in the first. It was the first homer of the year for Anthony.
“He had a broken foot for the first half of the year,” Malinak said of Anthony. “He’s just now getting back in the swing of things.
“He can do a lot of things for us. His defense is outstanding and he’s getting his timing down at the plate. I’m really happy with how he played.”
Davis Smith and Ryan Brumbaugh added three hits each for the Greyhounds.
Brumbaugh drove in four runs and Jimmy Buxton added a pair.
“We really hit the ball well,” Malinak said. “Davis Smith and Ryan Brumbaugh, they’re just tremendous.
“They’re both hitting well over .500. We just couldn’t get that one extra hit. You just have to tip your cap to Sharpsville.”
Wilmington plated three runs in the sixth to tie it at 8. But a runner was gunned down at the plate that would have given the hosts the lead.
Brumbaugh started and didn’t factor in the decision. He pitched five innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs — four earned — with three walks and four strikeouts.
Anthony (0-1) took the loss, working two innings. He gave up three hits and two runs — both earned — with two walks and two strikeouts.
“I thought our pitching was actually pretty good,” Malinak said. “We kicked the ball around a little bit and gave them some extra runs.”
Ellwood City 1
The Spartans remained alive in their quest for a WPIAL playoff berth with a Section 5-AA home win over the Wolverines.
Laurel (7-4, 7-6) is a half-game behind Neshannock (8-4, 11-4), which knocked off section-leading Beaver (9-2, 9-3).
“We have to take care of ourselves,” Spartans coach Eric Verdi said. “Neshannock didn’t do us any favors.
“No one gives you a playoff spot in this section, you have to earn it.”
Laurel took a 4-0 lead with four runs in the second inning. Josh Dando delivered the big blow with a three-run double with two outs in the frame.
Brandon Ritchie led the Spartans with three hits, while Dando and Nick Peluso added two apiece.
Ritchie (4-1) went the distance to pick up the win. He gave up five hits and an unearned run with a walk and six strikeouts.
“Brandon threw well,” Verdi said. “His walks were down and his pitch count was very low; he was pretty efficient.”
Dillon Horgan took the loss, going five innings. He allowed eight hits and five runs — four earned with five walks and four strikeouts.
Ellwood City Lincoln is 3-8, 4-12.
The Scotties broke the game open with a seven-run second inning in a Section 3-A road win over Quigley Catholic. The game was stopped after four innings because of the mercy rule.
Union (8-3, 10-4) pounded out 17 hits.
“What I was happy about was in the second inning,” Scotties coach Mark Stanley said. “Zachary Chinchilla is an IUP recruit and I was happy to see us jump on him; he has pretty good stuff.
“I was excited to see how well we hit the ball.”
Drew Robinson was 4 for 4 for the Scotties. He opened the second inning with a single and added a second hit later in the frame as Union sent 11 batters to the plate.
Devan Schuller and John Hilke both added three hits for the winners, while Markel Peace added a pair. Hilke drove in three runs, and Joe Salmen, Carrington Bell, Robinson, Kody Smith, Peace and Anthony Rush knocked in two apiece.
Schuller (4-1) recorded the win. He went the whole way, giving up two hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
Beaver Falls 2,
The Warriors couldn’t deliver a timely hit in dropping a Section 5-AA road decision to Beaver Falls.
Mohawk (1-11, 1-12) left eight runners on base. The Warriors’ best scoring chance came in the fourth inning when John Hartzell led off a scoreless battle with a double, but he was thrown out at third on a bunt attempt.
“You’re not going to win when you don’t score,” Mohawk coach Kevin Sapp said. “Maybe if we score early there it’s a different game.”
The Tigers (3-8, 3-10) plated two runs in the fourth inning, capitalizing on the Warriors’ lone error.
“It’s encouraging, considering how the season has been going,” Sapp said of the game. “The guys are still battling. Unfortunately the one error we made cost us a couple of runs.”
Aaron DeSantis (1-4) suffered the loss. DeSantis started and pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and two unearned runs with four walks and no strikeouts.
The Wildcats were knocked out of playoff contention with a defeat to visiting Riverside.
Shenango (5-7, 8-8) was unable to match the power of the defending state champion Panthers (10-2, 13-3) on offense and in the field. Wildcats starter Evan Kendall (1-2) went three innings, allowing seven hits, five runs — three earned — with two walks and two strikeouts.
“I thought Evan made some good pitches in good situations, but they would muscle one over the infield or fight it off for bloop hits,” Shenango coach Mike Othites said. “They’re good. Sometimes the hitter wins even when you make good pitches.”
The Wildcats couldn’t solve Riverside ace Tyler Falk, who limited Shenango to two hits in the game.
“Falk was good,” Othites said. “He mixed his pitches well.”
The loss dropped the Wildcats 2 1/2 games back of Laurel and three games back of Neshannock after both teams won yesterday.
“It puts us out. We will try to be a spoiler and hope for next year,” Othites said. “I’ve got some young kids and only a few seniors who start, so we can build off of that.”
North Allegheny 11,
New Castle 2
The struggles continued for New Castle in another Section 1-AAAA defeat at North Allegheny.
The ’Canes, who have lost four consecutive section contests, labored through a disastrous fourth inning in which the Tigers (6-3, 14-4) plated seven runs.
“We just came apart,” New Castle coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “They laid down a couple bunts, we had a few errors, a couple walks and a few hits mixed in. That’s seven runs.”
Mark Graziani (1-2) suffered the loss after six innings. Five of his 11 runs against were unearned. The ’Canes recorded three errors in the contest.
“Mark actually pitched pretty well for us,” Malley Jr. said. “We just didn’t play good defense behind him. We had a bad inning and it took us out of the game.”
Vinny Jannetti continued to produce offensively for New Castle with another two-hit performance, including a triple, from the leadoff spot. He entered the week with a .317 average.
“The second half of this season, Vinny has been on a tear hitting the ball and driving in runs,” Malley Jr. said.
The host Lancers picked up a crucial victory in a Section 5-AA showdown with Beaver.
In a tight battle for the third and final playoff spot in section with Laurel, Neshannock began a tough stretch in its schedule that began with the Bobcats and ends with a home game against Riverside and a trip to Laurel.
One down, two to go.
“It’s definitely a very good win for us,” Lancers coach Mike Kirkwood said. “A lot of teams, when they play Beaver and Riverside, it’s almost like they’re playing for third place. We’re trying to beat them.”
As was the case in Neshannock’s 2-1 win earlier in the season against the Bobcats, a pair of freshman were crucial on the mound.
Frank Fraschetti and Richard Serignese got it done again for the Lancers. In the first game between the teams, Serignese earned the win in relief with four innings of work, giving up two hits and no runs and one walk. Fraschetti was the victor yesterday after 5 1/3 innings, seven hits, five runs, two earned runs, four strikeouts and five walks.
“Frankie was able to do well for us deep into the fifth inning,” Kirkwood acknowledged. “Then we pitched Serignese, and he was able to keep them at bay.”
Neshannock (8-4, 11-4) took advantage of a missed double play by Beaver (9-2, 9-3) in the fifth, resulting in a seven-run scoring outburst.
“Good teams capitalize on other teams’ mistakes,” Kirkwood said. “We were able to do that.”
The Lancers cracked five hits in six at-bats to end the inning, with Alex Welker concluding the scoring with an RBI single. Welker, Ernie Burkes, Serignese, John Conglose, Matt Cioffi, and Jeffrey Sanfilippo tallied two hits each for Neshannock.
Conglose plated three RBIs to lead the team. Welker and Cioffi drove in two each.
“All three of them are seniors,” Kirkwood said. “In big games, we need them to step up. We’re really happy and glad for them. In big games, they step up big.”
The victory only adds more intrigue to a showdown with the Spartans on Monday.
“It helped us tremendously,” Kirkwood said. “It’s good to see our kids respond to this and try to win every game they play.”
South Side Beaver 1
A section championship and the Neshannock High softball team have become synonymous as of late.
The Lady Lancers celebrated their third-straight WPIAL section crown, this time in Section 4-A, after a 10-1 rout of visiting South Side Beaver yesterday.
Madison Shaffer, the county’s strikeout leader, added a career-high 18 to her total and smacked a single, triple and three RBIs at the plate.
“This was probably the best game she’s thrown this year,” Neshannock coach Tracy Kimmel said. “She was on the money. She was throwing hard, too.”
The defending state champion Lady Lancers, ranked No. 1 in Class A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, dropped from Class AA to Class A this season. Regardless of what team it plays or what section it’s in, Neshannock looks every bit the part of a team looking to make another championship run. Along with a 13-0 section record and a 14-1 overall mark, the Lady Lancers average 13 runs a game and have allowed just 13 total runs this season. Shaffer, who entered the game with a county-low 0.64 ERA and 107 strikeouts, has started in all Neshannock’s games.
The Lady Lancers made quick work of the Lady Rams (9-3, 10-3), tallying nine runs through the first three innings.
“We got up on them. I thought we hit the ball well and kids are starting to hit,” Kimmel said. “Some kids that maybe weren’t hitting the ball as well the beginning of the year are starting to hit it well. Shaffer was one of them.”
Neshannock honored its three seniors before the game — Jamie Graziani, Rayanna Furst and Katie Burrelli. Furst, the county’s leader in hits, added two more and slugged two RBIs. Burrelli and Madison Altmyer also slapped two hits.
The section title is the Lady Lancers’ eighth overall in program history and something the team hopes to accomplish every season.
“That’s always our first goal. We divide the season into sections there, and that’s your first goal. You plan to win your section and you want to win the title,” Kimmel said. “It helps your seeding in the playoffs, too.”
Macy Rubin tossed a no-hitter to lead the Lady Wildcats to a Section 4- A home win over the Lady Quips. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.
It’s the first no-hitter for Rubin, who is just a freshman. Rubin (12-6) walked three and struck out 12.
“It’s exciting for her,” said Shenango coach Amy Delaney of Rubin’s no-hitter. “She’ been doing well all season and it was a nice time for it to happen.
“She’s getting stronger with each game and getting more aware of her pitches. I think she’s getting more of an understanding of the game from a mental side, too.”
Shenango (10-3, 12-6) will share second place with South Side Beaver (9-3, 10-3) with a win over Western Beaver today in the season finale. The Lady Rams, who lost to Neshannock yesterday, will tie the Lady Wildcats for second by sweeping Aliquippa (0-12, 0-14) today.
“I would think it would be good for seeding,” Delaney said of getting a share of second place. “Class A went from five sections to four, so you’re now eliminating three playoff teams from years past.
“The quality of teams is definitely going to go up in the playoffs. Any kind of draw you get won’t be easy.”
Alyssa White had two hits for Shenango and teammate Alexa Owrey delivered a pair of RBIs.
The Lady Wildcats scored six runs in the first inning to cruise to the win.
Wilmington plated three runs in the first inning en route to a District 10, Region 2-AA home win over Jamestown.
Abby Sotter (11-2) picked up the win. Sotter went seven innings, giving up four hits and an earned run with a walk and six strikeouts. She added a two-run single in the first as well.
“Sotter had a solid outing for us. The team as a whole played a solid game, too,” said first-year Lady Greyhounds coach Tom Reed.
Courtney Cohen and Cassidy Marett posted two hits for Wilmington, and Cohen drove in three runs. The Lady Greyhounds (5-1, 11-2) banged out nine hits.
Wilmington tacked on solo tallies in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings. The Lady Muskies (1-4, 3-7) scored their run in the second.
Beaver Falls 3, 10 innings
The Lady Spartans pulled out a Section 5-AA road win over Beaver Falls in 10 innings.
Delaney Baumis started the 10th inning at second base because of the international softball rules. Boston put down a sacrifice bunt. The catcher threw it past the first baseman, allowing Baumis to score on the play.
Lady Spartans reliever Kristan Fedrizzi retired the Lady Tigers in the bottom of the 10th to record the win.
Fedrizzi (2-5) tossed two innings, giving up no hits or walks with three strikeouts.
Makenna Natale started and pitched eight innings for Laurel (3-8, 3-11), working to two batters in the ninth before giving way to Fedrizzi. Natale gave up 11 hits and three earned runs with three walks and nine strikeouts.
“The pitching was great; both girls did a great job,” Laurel coach Lori Krol said.
Ellen Shaffer paced the Lady Spartans with two hits and Erica Latess added a pair of RBIs. Laurel tallied six hits.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Latess walked to open the frame. Shaffer singled and Latess took third on the play. Shaffer later stole second. Lauren Boston notched a sacrifice bunt to score Latess and tie the game at 3.
Beaver Falls (4-7, 4-7) had the bases loaded two different times with nobody out and failed to score.
“We played as a team,” Krol said. “Our bats came together and our defense came together.
“We have to keep this going and take some momentum into (today’s) game against Mohawk.”
Laurel scored two runs in the first, one in the seventh and another in the 10th. The Lady Tigers tallied single runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings.
The Lady Warriors scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a Section 5-AA home win over Beaver. This was the completion of a suspended game from April 16.
The game was picked up with the scored tied at 3 going to the bottom of the seventh.
“We told the girls it could be a few batters or a couple of innings,” Mohawk coach Pam Beatty said. “It depends on how we come out to play.
“But it was another good team effort putting it all together and getting the win.”
Haley Sainato bunted for a single to open the seventh for Mohawk (9-2, 12-2). Shelby Brown singled to advance Sainato to second and the runners moved up by each stealing a base.
Lucia Fee struck out and Devon Giancola followed with a bunt. The Lady Bobcats (6-5, 8-5) recorded the out at first, but Sainato scored from third with the winning run.
Brown and Sainato notched two hits each for the Lady Warriors, while Jaki Bender drove in two runs.
Bender (11-2) earned the win, working seven innings. She allowed four hits and three runs — two earned — with two walks and six strikeouts.