By Ron Poniewasz Jr. and Andrew Petyak
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The offense was clicking for the Union High baseball team against Aliquippa.
A hitting barrage, including four first-inning runs, propelled the host Scotties to a WPIAL Section 3-A victory, 10-0.
“We jumped on them early and hit the ball hard in the first inning and got up 4-0,” Union coach Mark Stanley said. “We kind of cruised from there.”
Union (3-2 section, 3-3 overall) bounced back from an 8-0 loss to Western Beaver earlier in the week, exploding for 10 hits.
Drew Robinson and Devan Schuller each recorded a triple in the first to get things going for the Scotties. Robinson slapped two hits while Schuller and Jacob Jendrysik recorded a team-high two RBIs each.
“Drew’s been swinging a good bat and hitting the ball for us,” Stanley said. “He made good contact and was able to drive some deep.”
Anthony Rush (1-0) was making his first varsity start, having spent time as a reliever this season, allowing just one hit and striking out seven through five. The game ended after the fifth because of the mercy rule.
“Rush was throwing strikes and doing his job,” Stanley said. “That’s the main thing we wanted to see in how he reacts under pressure, and he did a nice job. For his first time out as a starter, we were happy with that.”
The Scotties have developed a pattern this season, following a loss with a win. They have yet to go on a winning streak or a losing streak.
“A win is a win at any point,” Stanley said. “Going against Aliquippa, we got our sticks going and got a little bit of confidence.”
Union will rededicate the baseball field, Jim Fee Field, Saturday before its section game against Quigley Catholic. The ceremony will start at 10:45 a.m. and the game is set to start at 11 a.m.
Fee’s great granddaughter, Ariel Junkin, will throw out the first pitch. Junkin is the starting pitcher on the Lady Scots’ softball team.
The Neshannock High baseball team came through late in the game yesterday.
The Lancers scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to rally for a 2-1 WPIAL Section 5-AA road win over Beaver.
Neshannock (5-1 section, 8-1 overall) bounced back from a 1-0 section road loss Monday at Riverside. The Lancers’ win forces a three-way tie for first place in the league with the Panthers (5-1, 8-2) and the Bobcats (5-1, 5-2).
“Losing the kids we lost last year and starting off with some new kids that we’re counting on heavily, to play Riverside and Beaver back to back like that, it shows a lot of character,” Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood said. “I couldn’t be more proud to see them battle like they did.”
The Lancers are the two-time defending WPIAL champions in Class A. They moved up to Class AA this year. Beaver dropped from Class AAA after reaching the district playoffs, but was ousted in the first round.
Matt Cioffi led off the top of the sixth for the Lancers with a single and Tyler Perry came in as a courtesy runner for Cioffi. Donald Colucci followed with an RBI double to tie the contest at 1. Two straight Neshannock batters were struck out, but Frank Fraschetti delivered a clutch single to plate Colucci with what proved to be the game-winning run off Beaver starter Austin Ross.
“I thought we hit the ball really well against Riverside on Monday,” Kirkwood said. “We faced one of the top pitchers in the WPIAL in double-A in Ross (yesterday).
“Overall, I thought we did a good job of swinging the bats and putting the ball in play.”
The Bobcats were retired in order in the seventh by reliever Rich Serignese. The first two Beaver batters flew out to deep center and the third flew out to right.
Serignese (1-0) earned the win, working four innings. He gave up two hits and no runs with a walk and two strikeouts.
“Rich did a nice job spotting his pitches and forcing them to try and be patient; he had a good fastball, curveball and changeup working,” Kirkwood said.
Neshannock doesn’t get much time to enjoy the win. The Lancers will host fourth-place Laurel (4-2, 4-3) at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow in a critical section matchup to close the first half of section play.
“We’re going to enjoy this a little bit,” Kirkwood said of yesterday’s win. “It’s fun. Now we have to get ready for the Laurel game somehow.”
North Hills 8,
New Castle 2
The Indians pulled away for the Section 1-AAAA home win over New Castle.
The game was the completion of last week’s suspended contest. It was halted because of lightning with North Hills (3-1, 7-4) up 4-1 with no outs in the bottom of the fourth and a runner at second base.
The Red Hurricane (1-3, 3-6) managed just four hits off Indians pitching.
“The main problem was we were hitting the ball all around the field, but we just couldn’t get anything to drop,” New Castle coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “It comes down to getting hits and we have to cash them into runs.”
Vinny Jannetti recorded three of the ’Canes’ four hits.
Sean Coyne (0-2) suffered the loss. Coyne went six innings, giving up 10 hits and eight runs — six earned — with five walks and four strikeouts.
Beaver Falls 11,
A promising start turned sour in Mohawk’s Section 5-AA loss to visiting Beaver Falls.
The Warriors (1-5, 1-6) committed two costly errors in the third which led to a five-run inning for the Tigers (1-5, 1-6). Rain washed out the game after the sixth inning.
“It seemed like it was a real pitcher’s duel through the first two innings. (Mohawk starter) Aaron DeSantis set them down in order in the first and second,” Warriors coach Kevin Sapp said. “We had one baserunner in the first and second. Then, Beaver Falls had that big third.”
DeSantis aggravated a muscle in his hip during the inning, which Sapp says could have contributed to his struggles.
Mohawk has allowed an average of 10 runs against a game in its last three games.
“Between our pitching and our defense, we have to get better on the defensive side of the ball,” Sapp said.
Frank Shaffer slapped two hits, including a double, for the Warriors.
Quigley Cath. 5
The Lady Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take command and knock off visiting Quigley Catholic in Section 4-A action.
The runs built a 7-4 cushion going to the top of the seventh. The Lady Spartans had the top of their lineup coming up in the final frame. The top three hitters for Quigley Catholic was 3 for 12, and the cleanup hitter — Molly Patch — was 2 for 3 with a homer and a pair of RBIs.
“We had a cushion for most of the game. Putting those extra runs on the board was pretty big,” Shenango coach Amy Delaney said. “It gave the girls that breathing room; that sigh of relief.”
Alyssa White and Kim Burdett posted two hits each for Shenango (5-2, 6-5). Burdett drove in two runs as well.
Macy Rubin (6-5) picked up the win. Rubin went seven innings, giving up nine hits and five runs — three earned — with two walks and eight strikeouts.
“We were putting the ball in play and Macy was getting them to strike out,” Delaney said. “I thought Macy pitched a good game. I think she’s getting stronger. She’s still young and making freshman mistakes, but she’s doing well.”
The game gives Shenango, which is halfway through the section schedule in terms of games played in the league, a strong hold on the third and final playoff berth. The Lady Wildcats are just a game behind second-place South Side Beaver (6-1, 6-1).
“One of our goals is to make the playoffs,” Delaney said. “One of our goals is to control our own destiny and that’s how we’ll approach it in the second half.”
Shenango scored a run each in the first two innings before tallying two more in the third. They added a run in the fifth before getting the final pair in the sixth.
The Lady Spartans (2-6, 2-6) scored a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Lady Lancers pounded out 14 hits in a Section 4-A road win over Rochester. The game was stopped after three innings because of the mercy rule.
Rayanna Furst led Neshannock (8-0, 8-1) with three hits. Jamie Graziani, Marissa DeMatteo, Madison Altmyer and Madison Shaffer added two hits apiece.
Altmyer drove in three runs and DeMatteo added a pair.
Marissa Kirkwood belted a grand slam in the second inning, her first varsity home run. She accounted for four RBIs.
Shaffer (8-1) picked up the win. She pitched two innings and allowed two hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
The Lady Lancers plated 12 runs in the first inning, seven more in the second and one in the third.
New Castle 9,
New Castle is back in the thick of things in Section 1-AAA with a win at Ambridge.
The Lady ’Canes (3-3, 4-5) moved into third place in the section and a tie for the last playoff position with Blackhawk after knocking off the previously undefeated Lady Bridgers (5-1, 6-1).
“It was a great team effort. Everyone contributed in one way or another,” New Castle coach Leah Ann Williams said. “That really relaxed us, and we just played good ball the whole game. I don’t know if we didn’t expect to win, but we just came out very loose. Our first four batters scored before they got an out in the first. It was big. It was a great tone-setting inning. We had a couple of really key performances.”
Taylor Passerrello and Dana Perrotta set the table for the rest of the lineup, with Passerrello going 3 for 3 and Perrotta finishing 4 for 5 from the first two spots in the batting order.
“She’s just been whacking the ball in practice,” Williams said of Passerrello. “We threw her in the one spot and just told her to hit.”
Aleigha Withrow, Alyea Cioffi and Jenna Frank drove them in with three doubles and seven RBIs combined.
Withrow’s double drove in two runs in the fifth to extend the Lady ’Canes lead to 7-2. She replaced regular starter Abba Frengel behind the plate after Frengel broke her ankle last week.
“She really just ran the show. She was very calming and very solid for our freshman pitching.”
New Castle never trailed in the game after jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first and adding three runs in the fifth and two in the seventh.
Carley Aven pitched seven innings, allowing four hits, four runs and striking out nine.
“I’m just so happy for her. She struggled the last game (against Ellwood) and really grew up a lot (today) as a pitcher,” Williams said. “That’s awesome against a big hitting team like Ambridge, that as a freshman, she can have so much poise.”
South Side Beaver 21,
The score got away from Union early in a Section 4-A loss to visiting South Side Beaver.
The Lady Scots (4-4, 4-4) struggled to get out of the first inning as the Lady Rams piled on 14 runs in the frame. The game ended after three innings on the mercy rule.
“The first inning was a nightmare. They hit the ball hard and we didn’t field it,” Union coach Gary Trimble said. “It was just a nightmare. We couldn’t get them out.”
South Side Beaver (6-1, 6-1) tacked on two runs in the second and five runs in the third. The Lady Scots committed six errors in the contest.
“It was just one of those things. Everything they hit fell in or we just didn’t play it right,” Trimble said. “We couldn’t get them out.
Allison Bertolino scored both runs for the Lady Scots on RBI singles by Gina Gaibis and Hannah Booth.
Offense was key in Laurel’s Section 5-AA home triumph over Freedom.
The Lady Spartans (2-4, 2-5) compiled 11 hits and scored all 11 of their runs through the first five innings.
“We had good hitting,” Laurel coach Lori Krol said. “Our bats came alive.
“We hit the ball hard. We had really good baserunning. I tell them all the time, good baserunning is just as important as good hitting and good defense.”
Kristan Fedrizzi went 3 for 3 with three stolen bases, four runs and one RBI. Erica Latess ripped two hits and drove in four, while Makenna Natale went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Natale and Fedrizzi combined to pitch a three-hitter, striking out 12 Lady Bulldogs batters. Natale (1-4) earned the win, pitching three innings and giving up one earned run.
Neshannock dropped a 3-1 verdict to Blackhawk, but rebounded for a 5-0 decision over Beaver Falls. Both Section 2-AA matches were held at the North Beaver Tennis Center.
The fifth match wasn’t contested in the contest against the Cougars because Blackhawk already secured the win.
The Lancers (6-3, 8-3) are in third place in the section and will travel to Beaver at 3:30 p.m. today with a chance to tie the Bobcats for second place in the section. The top three teams in the league reach the WPIAL playoffs.
Following are the results:
Blackhawk 3, Neshannock 1
1. Clint Davies (B) def. Max Watters 6-1, 6-0.
2. Jordan Cooper (B) def. Joe Bullano 6-3, 6-0.
3. Anthony Parise (B) def. Nick Hautala 6-3, 6-2.
1. Mike Maciarello/Connor Richards (N) Phil Morindo/Robert Fitzgerald 6-2, 7-6.
1. Tyler Voland/Nik Bentkowski (N) won 6-3.
Neshannock 5, Beaver Falls 0
1. Max Watters (N) def. Clay Barnes 6-3, 6-0.
2. Joe Bullano (N) def. Jared Boggs 6-0, 6-4.
3. Nick Hautala (N) def. Gino Osso 6-0, 6-0.
1. Mike Maciarello/Connor Richards (N) def. Malik Buffanloe/Dallas Revels 6-1, 6-4.
2. Nick Montini/Mitch Cialella (N) def. Karim Jones/Ashton/Dargatz 6-1, 6-2.
Keaton Docchio tied an Ellwood City record as the Wolverines edged Beaver Falls, 81-69.
Docchio matched the 100 record with a time of 11.0. He also claimed victory in the 110 hurdles and 400 relay.
Kevin Court also was a multiple winner with a first-place finish in the 300 hurdles, 400 relay and pole vault.
Mohawk swept the top spot in every event in a 130-18 defeat of Union.
Shane McFarland led the field in the 100, 200, 400 relay and the 1600 relay.
Lucas Grim claimed victory in the 400, 800 and 3200 relay while Gio Menichino leaped to first in the 300 hurdles, 1600 relay and 3200 relay.
John Zagotti held the top distance in the triple jump, long jump and collected a win in the 400 relay.
New Castle falls
The ’Canes dropped a 94-56 decision to Moon.
Antonio Rudolph picked up a win in the 400 relay, 400 and high jump. Teammate Khalil Huddleston was best in the 100, 200 and 400 relay.
Jake Cochran helped the Wildcats to a triumph over Neshannock, 94-55.
Cochran recorded a victory in the 100, 200 and the 400.
Robbie Kroner earned a win in the 800, 1600, 1600 relay and 3200 relay for the Lancers.
’Hounds win two
Dwight Scott assisted Wilmington in a 112 1/2 -36 1/2 triumph over Mercer.
Scott took the 100, 400, 160 relay and 3200 relay events.
It was more of the same in a 118-26 win against Sharpsville.
Scott registered the top mark in the 100, 1600 relay and 3200 relay.
Laurel was no match for Riverside in a 102-48 defeat.
Clint Glenn earned a win in the 800 and 3200 relay, while Ethan Wilson topped the pack in the 3200 and 3200 relay for the Spartans.
Joey Johnson also tallied a first-place finish in the 400 relay and the high jump.
Angela McCowin entered the record book in the Lady Wolverines’ 96-52 victory over Beaver Falls.
McCowin broke Ellwood’s record in the 100 hurdles with a time of 15.1. She also notched a win in the 400 relay, 300 hurdles and high jump.
Andi Hozick took four events in the 400 relay, shot put, discus and javelin.
Union was no match for the Lady Warriors in a 123-17 decision.
Six Mohawk athletes — Danielle Kelty, Maria Fleck, Mikayla Mangino, Lyly Truong, Joelle Bromley and Paige Crist — won two events each.
Kelty took the 3200 and 3200 relay, Fleck placed first in the 100 hurdles and 400 relay and Mangino paced the field in the 200 and 400 relay.
Truong edged the competition in the 100 and 400 relay, Bromley owned the 800 and 3200 relay and Crist outdistanced the pack in the long jump and high jump.
New Castle struggles
The Lady ’Canes couldn’t put enough points on the board in a 133-17 loss to Moon.
Jamay Walker was the lone victor for New Castle in the discus.
The Lady Wildcats cruised to a 107-41 victory over Neshannock.
Nicole Watkins paced the field in the 100, 200 and 400, while Allyssa Allwine outdistanced the pack in the high jump, long jump and triple jump for Shenango.
Wilmington wins pair
Tessa Sikora, Allison Baldwin and Hannah Drake notched three victories each in Wilmington’s 92-54 win against Mercer.
Sikora took the 200, high jump and long jump, Baldwin outran the field in the 400, 800 and 3200 relay, while Drake captured wins in the 1600 relay, 3200 relay and triple jump.
The Lady Greyhounds also notched a 117-32 decision over Sharpsville.
Drake, Baldwin and Sikora mirrored their performances against Mercer, with Sikora again leading the 200, high jump and long jump, Baldwin the 400, 800 and 3200 relay and Drake the 1600 relay, 3200 relay and the triple jump.