NEW CASTLE —
The Shenango High baseball team picked up a crucial victory Saturday.
The Wildcats banged out 14 hits in posting a 14-4 WPIAL Section 5-AA home win over Beaver Falls.
The game was stopped after six innings because of the mercy rule.
Shenango (6-4 section, 7-7 overall) was coming off a tough 5-2 loss to third-place Beaver. The Bobcats (6-4, 6-5) swept the season series between the teams. Both teams have just four section games remaining and the WPIAL takes the top three teams to the postseason.
“It was a good game to come back from,” Wildcats coach Mike Othites said. “We were a little sloppy. We had more errors (four) than I would have liked.”
The Tigers (2-8, 3-9) erased a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. But Shenango countered with six runs in the bottom of the frame for a 9-4 lead.
“I thought we responded pretty well in that fourth inning,” Othites said. “That was good to see.”
Brent McCormick paced the Wildcats with three hits, while Paul Turco, Hunter Waskin and Tyler Booher added two each. Evan Kendall knocked in three runs for the winners.
Booher (3-2) picked up the win on the hill. He went the distance, giving up eight hits and four runs — three earned — with no walks and a strikeout.
Shenango will visit Neshannock (10-0, 14-0), the top-ranked team in the WPIAL in Class AA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, at 4:30 p.m. today weather permitting. The Lancers won the previous meeting, 4-1. The teams were scoreless going to the fifth frame in that matchup.
“They’re a good baseball team,” Othites said of Neshannock. “I expect another low-scoring game; we’ll be ready.”
North Hills 7,
New Castle 3
The Red Hurricane stranded 10 baserunners in dropping a Section 1-AAAA road matchup to the Indians.
New Castle (1-6, 6-8) left the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings.
“We didn’t get a clutch hit,” ’Canes coach Paul Malley Jr. said. “Both times we had them loaded with one out. You have to cash those in when you have the opportunities.”
Zach Senchak and Mark Graziani posted two hits each for New Castle.
Robert Natale (2-1) took the loss. Natale started and worked three innings, giving up five hits and four runs — two earned — with a walk and three strikeouts.
The ’Canes made three errors and North Hills made none.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with bunts that we didn’t make the plays on,” Malley said. “We were right there with hits. But we made some errors and they didn’t make any; that was the difference in the game.”
New Castle has three section games left and must win out to have a shot at securing a WPIAL playoff berth.