Despite squandering many chances, Greensburg Salem baseball holds on for win over Yough, clinches playoff spot

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Monday, May 6, 2024 | 8:18 PM


Greensburg Salem felt it could have done more with its 15 hits and slew of opportunities on the base paths.

As it turned out, the Golden Lions did just enough to extend their season.

Despite leaving 10 on base and getting mixed up in several base­running miscues, Greensburg Salem clinched a WPIAL playoff spot by holding off Yough, 6-5, on Monday as the teams opened a two-game Section 4-3A baseball series on Cougar Mountain.

“As long as we got the win,” Greensburg Salem shortstop Tyler Martin said. “That is what matters.”

Greensburg Salem (8-7, 7-4) picked up its third straight win as Martin went 3 for 4 and Dom Rosensteel, Peyton Chismar, Logan Dunkerley, Brody Chismar and Ayden Crissman had two hits each

Peyton Chismar doubled twice.

Zander Aird went 3 for 4 for Yough (6-11, 5-6), which rallied from a four-run deficit to tie it. The Cougars now must win the series finale Tuesday at Greensburg Salem to have a shot at a playoff berth. McGuffey also needs to lose to Waynesburg for the Cougars to qualify.

Every Greensburg Salem starter reached base, but the Golden Lions managed only a 2-1 lead after four innings.

“This has kind of been the story of our season,” Greensburg Salem coach Anthony Manley said. “It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. It’s about what we do. That is why we were in this position. We talked about not getting too high or low today. We need to be smarter when it comes to the baserunning blunders.”

Yough gave the Golden Lions some help in the fourth as the advantage grew to 5-1.

Five of the the Golden Lions’ first seven batters reach base, but they scored only one run, which came on Noah Outly’s RBI single. They wasted a double by Peyton Chismar.

In the second, with two on, a pickoff, strikeouts and groundout ended that threat.

Then, they loaded the bases in the third and got only one run home, on a walk for a 2-0 lead.

“We did some good things,” Yough coach Dan Palm said. “We did a good job limiting them and did a nice job with the pickoffs. I am proud of the way our guys came back.”

Yough cut it to 2-1 in the fourth on Sam Smalich’s RBI single. Greensburg Salem threw a runner out at home after Hayden Eicher ripped a pinch-hit double.

Smalich, who had two RBIs, came on in relief of starting pitcher Nate Bell in the fifth as Palm looked for strikes and a different rhythm than Bell. By then, it was 5-1.

Peyton Chismar doubled off the fence, moved to second on an error and scored on a hit by Dunkerley.

Crissman delivered a two-run single after a bunt single by Brody Chismar and a passed ball to make it 5-1.

Yough rallied in the fifth, with some help.

Back-to-back hit batters and a single by Aird loaded the bases.

The series that followed — error, wild pitch, walk, walk, walk — cut it to 5-4.

With the bags still jammed, Peyton Chismar relieved starter Crissman with two outs, but his wild pitch tied it 5-5.

Martin doubled to start the sixth and made it to third on an error. A passed ball allowed him to score, and the Golden Lions took a 6-5 edge.

Another pickoff kept them from adding on, and they left two more stranded in the seventh.

Aird singled and stole second in the final stanza for the Cougars, but they went quietly from there.

“We have faced a lot of adversity this season, so I am proud of our guys,” Manley said, pointing to injuries to starters Noah DeMary and Grant Smith.

“I am proud of how our guys have responded. It’s been next man up. This was a learning experience for us. We need to move forward and play better baseball.”

Yough, which starts five freshmen, has dropped three in a row.

“We’re so young,” Palm said. “Our guys seem excited to be in this position. We have to win (Tuesday). But they have to go out and perform. We’ll see what happens. This will show us something for the future.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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