Beeman helps Hempfield rally to stay perfect, beat Canon-McMillan

Monday, April 15, 2024 | 9:26 PM

Hempfield senior Ethan Minerva said earlier this season that this year’s baseball team was special, and anyone could step up big.

That player Monday was senior Gage Beeman, who came off the bench and delivered a winning two-run double to rally unbeaten Hempfield to a 6-3 victory against scrappy Canon-McMillan in a Section 2-6A game.

“When coach used Gage as a pinch-hitter, I told him to relax,” Minerva said. “I don’t know if he heard me, but he sure delivered.”

The hit highlighted a four-run sixth inning by the Spartans (11-0, 7-0). Hempfield is ranked No. 2 behind North Allegheny in the TribLive 6A rankings.

“I was just looking to hit the ball hard,” Beeman said. “He threw a fastball a little outside the zone, but I drove it. It means a lot to be able to help the team. I was confident in myself.”

Canon-McMillan (3-6, 3-4) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score on an RBI groundout by Cameron Russell and RBI single by Dominic Patragas.

It took a 3-2 lead on an RBI infield single by Collin Yeager.

Hempfield, which scored two unearned runs in the third inning, got a single by Carson Shuglie to begin the sixth. Dylan Firmstone drew a walk but was forced out at second base on Colin Polechko’s grounder.

Junior Quinn Wilkins then delivered a tying hit to score Shuglie, and after Maxwell Short was retired, Beeman doubled to left-center gap. Minerva followed with a single to right to score Beeman with the fourth run of the inning.

“Gage had a huge hit for us. It was awesome,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said. “I knew what he’s capable of, and he delivered. He drove the ball well.

“This was a good win for us. We’re not looking to go undefeated. It’s a long season, and we’re just trying to improve. I don’t think there is any pressure on us.”

Hempfield holds a two-game lead on Mt. Lebanon, which defeated Norwin, 4-1, on Monday.

“Dylan and Adam (Hess) struggled a little,” Buzzard said. “Canon-McMillan did a god job making them work. But they also got big outs when we needed them.”

Game 2 of the three-game series will be Tuesday at Maxwell Field in Canonsburg. Game 3 is back at Hempfield on Thursday.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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