District 31 American Legion roundup: Yough rallies to defeat Unity

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | 9:59 PM

Nate Wilkins didn’t let a shaky start bother him Tuesday during Game 1 of the District 31 American Legion playoffs against Unity.

That’s because his Yough teammates backed him offensively.

James Shoman, the ninth batter in the order, banged out three hits and had four RBIs as Yough rallied to defeat Unity, 12-5, in Herminie.

Game 2 of the best-of-three opening series is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Whitney.

Unity struck for three runs in the top of the first inning when the Yough left fielder misplayed Nico Massari’s hit into a bases-clearing double.

But Yough tied the score in the bottom of the inning against Unity starting pitcher Alex Woodring. One run scored on Vinny Martin’s ground out, a second on a ground out by Sean Royer and a third on Kam Pritts’ single.

Yough grabbed a 5-3 lead in the third inning when Martin led off with a triple and scored on Royer’s flyout. The second run scored when Pritts singled, Wilkins doubled and Pritts scored on Shoman’s slow roller.

“Nate pitched well,” Yough coach Craig Spisak said. “He’s experienced, and he’s all around the zone.”

Yough made it 6-3 when Allen Novacek scored on an error, and the lead expanded to 9-3 in the fifth inning on a hit by Shoman and two wild pitches.

“James came through for us in the clutch,” Spisak said. “A couple hits were with two strikes. He had a good approach.”

Landon Carns’ two-run triple in the sixth inning scored the Sickenbergers (Ryan and Chase) to make the score 9-5, but Yough got three more runs back on a two-run hit by Shoman and another wild pitch.

Wilkins struck out 11 and allowed 10 hits, three by Ryan Sickenberger.

Yough had 12 hits and took advantage of nine walks.

“It’s only one game,” Spisak said. “I’m sure we’ll see a different Unity squad on Wednesday. Hopefully we field a lot better.”

Bushy Run 11, Derry 1 — At Penn-Trafford, a seven-run sixth inning sealed Game 1 for Bushy Run. Liam Hileman had three hits including a double and triple. He had two RBIs. Gio Scott had two hits and three RBIs, Ryan Scavnicky had two hits and two RBIs and Gavin Berardi had two hits including a double.

Riley Bellan tossed a two-hitter. Derry scored in the fourth inning to tie the score 1-1.

Ryan Bushey was the losing pitcher.

Game 2 is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Derry.

Latrobe 8, Hempfield East 1 At Latrobe, the Jethawks got a two-hitter from Logan Gustafson and a three-hit performance from Logan Short. Ben Anderson and Short had doubles for Latrobe, and Erick Batista, Jake Bradish and Rayce King had two hits each.

Game 2 is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Seton Hill.

Young Township 5, Murrysville 4 At Saltsburg, Young Township defeated Murrysville in Game 1. Game 2 is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Haymaker Park.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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