NEW CASTLE —
Rich Serignese is no stranger to pressure on the baseball field.
The Neshannock High sophomore twice defeated WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA runner-up Beaver a year ago, so facing a team that put up eye-popping numbers the night before was a piece of cake.
“I’ve been playing high-end travel ball since I was eight years old,” Serignese said. “I’ve been pitching against the best teams whether it’s Cincinnati or Louisville. I’ve been playing the best of the best, even playing up. I’ve been well-prepared to pitch at a level like this.”
EARNING THE NOD
Serignese needed just 64 pitches over seven innings April 2 to help the Lancers shut out a Mohawk team that had pounded out 21 runs on 25 hits the night before against Laurel. He scattered four hits, struck out six and didn’t issue a walk in the outing.
The performance earned him Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“I had real good command of my curveball,” Serignese said. “It was the best it’s been in a while. My fastball was on. My changeup was real efficient. I had them guessing a lot.”
Serignese is 3-0 with a 0.44 earned run average and is limiting opponents to a .151 batting average. He has has scattered eight hits, struck out 20 and walked three in 16 innings, while allowing just a single run.
“We’re pretty fortunate that we have a bunch of young players that played a lot for us last year,” Kirkwood said. “They’ve picked up right where they left off last year. They expect more out of themselves and we expect more out of them. I feel if you work and you prepare that you can have a little bit of confidence, because you’ve put the time in.
“Rich does that. He plays in Youngstown over the summer five, six days a week. He does all that he can in the offseason to make himself better.”