A-K Valley notebook: Freeport’s Heilman nears perfect game

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 5:39 PM

Jarrett Heilman strung together plenty of dominant pitching performances during the regular season, but the junior reached another level in his first postseason start.

Heilman came within four outs of a perfect game in No. 1 Freeport’s 1-0 victory over Waynesburg in a Class 3A quarterfinal game Monday at Latrobe.

“It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a game like that,” Freeport coach Ed Carr said. “He was pretty dominant (Monday). He had command every pitch. He was just lights-out.”

The right-hander struck out 11 batters and didn’t walk any. He threw 5 2/3 perfect innings before Waynesburg’s Jesse Johnson hit a two-out single in the top of the sixth inning. Of Heilman’s 73 pitches, 56 were strikes.

The victory, Freeport’s first playoff triumph since 2013, set up a semifinal game Wednesday against Section 1-3A rival Steel Valley (11-8). The teams split their meetings during the regular season.

Neither team will have its ace available Wednesday after they pitched Monday; Steel Valley’s Nick Harhai threw 5 2/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out nine, in the Ironmen’s 8-0 quarterfinal victory over Belle Vernon.

“They’re good,” Carr said. “I think our whole section’s good, but I’ve said all year they’re as talented as anybody in the WPIAL. I’ve been blown away and really, really impressed with that team. It’s going to be tough.”

Kennedie center

Plum sophomore Kennedie Montue, the team’s leading scorer two years in a row, announced her first two Division I basketball offers, from Marshall and Oakland (Mich.).

The 5-foot-11 forward is a versatile scorer who can play multiple positions. She averaged 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds last season for Plum, a WPIAL Class 5A playoff qualifier.

More for Myers

Lower Burrell native Tess Myers added another Division I basketball offer from Western Michigan on Monday.

The North Catholic junior has more than a dozen offers. She averaged a team-high 15.4 points for the Trojanettes this season, leading them to the WPIAL Class 4A title and a state runner-up finish.

Consolation prize

Freeport’s boys lacrosse team won’t play for the WPIAL championship Friday, but the Yellowjackets still have an opportunity to make some school history.

A victory over Quaker Valley in the WPIAL Class AA consolation game would put Freeport (10-9) into the PIAA playoffs for the first time in the program’s five-year history.

Not-so-good byes

The first-round bye proved to be a double-edged sword for the Burrell and Plum softball teams.

The Bucs and Mustangs both earned automatic bids to the WPIAL quarterfinals after winning their sections during the regular season, but both exited the postseason after one game, with Plum falling to West Allegheny in the Class 5A quarterfinals and Burrell to Keystone Oaks in the Class 3A quarterfinals.

Knoch and Leechburg made their softball byes count, as they won their quarterfinals in Class 4A and A, respectively. Freeport’s baseball team did the same in Class 3A.

Round deuce?

Fox Chapel senior Robby Shymansky and Great Valley’s Sameer Gangoli played a thriller during the PIAA Class AAA boys tennis team semifinals last weekend, with Gangoli’s tiebreaker victory in the third set paving the way for Great Valley to win the match, 3-2.

Shymansky might get a chance for some revenge this weekend at the PIAA Class AAA singles tournament, which begins Friday in Hershey. The two players are seeded on opposite ends of the singles bracket.

Both players are committed to Ivy League colleges. Gangoli, a Penn recruit, is the defending state singles champion. Shymansky, a Yale commit, finished third.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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