Greensburg Central Catholic baseball gets offense going in rout of Ligonier Valley

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | 8:19 PM

After striking out 17 times in the series opener against Ligonier Valley, Greensburg Central Catholic was eager to get the bats around on some pitches in the rematch.

The offense had been mostly stagnant through three games this season, and the team was looking to break out.

“We walked a lot when we beat Southmoreland,” Centurions pitcher Ethan Brody said. “Today, the bats came alive. We needed this kind of game.”

Brody pitched a complete game, and GCC racked up seven runs in the second inning Tuesday on the way to a 9-1 victory and a Section 3-2A split with the visiting Rams.

Haden Sierocky one-hit the Centurions on Monday, fanning a career-high 17 in a 6-0 win in Ligonier.

This time, the Centurions (2-2, 1-1) got to Rams starter Adam Moreland early, rallying for nine unanswered runs as eight starters had a hit.

Ligonier Valley (1-1, 1-1) took a 1-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Colin Michaels with two outs. But GCC batted around in the bottom of the inning, with Mike McCready ripping a tying single and Wade Boyle following with a two-run hit.

Brody Bothell, Anthony Grippo, Grant Miller and John Tropeano, who was hit by a pitch to open the inning, followed with RBIs for a 7-1 lead.

GCC has yet to play a game with shortstop Max Kallock, an IUP commit, who is sidelined by a back injury.

“It’s nice to see our bats start up,” GCC first-year coach John Boyle said. “We have confident guys. We just need to get more confidence at the plate. This is more of what we’re capable of.”

Miller and Tyree Turner had two hits each for GCC, which gave Brody a cushion to work with as he scattered six hits and didn’t allow a Ram to reach third after the fifth until Sierocky roped a triple to right in the seventh.

“When Ethan looks in the mirror, he sees a lion staring back at him,” coach Boyle said. “Going into our playoff game last year, he was our No. 3 (pitcher). Now, with Ethan, Mike McCready and Anthony Grippo, we have three No. 1s.”

Brody struck out six and did not walk a batter. He mixed speeds to keep the Rams off balance.

“Me and coach talked on the bus on the way home (Monday) about their hitters and what I could do against them,” Brody said. “My fastball was working today. Then, I was getting them to chase.”

It was 8-1 after Sean Walker delivered a two-out single in the third.

The Rams had runners and second and third with two outs in the fifth, but Sierocky flew out to Wade Boyle in deep center.

Brody helped his cause with an RBI single in the fifth for the final run.

“You try to prevent that big inning,” Ligonier Valley coach Jason Bush said. “We couldn’t stop the bleeding. We made some boo-boos in the field. We played mostly even with them after that big inning.

“It’s one section game. We’re not turning in uniforms tomorrow, and nobody is giving us a section plaque. There is a long way to go.”

Logan Johnston had two hits for Ligonier Valley.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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