Irwin rolls to Western Pa. Summer Baseball League championship

Friday, August 7, 2020 | 12:33 AM

When the spring high school sports season was canceled, the Norwin Knights thought they missed out on a chance to contend for a WPIAL baseball championship.

Nothing that happened in the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League playoffs could have possibly changed their minds.

Irwin, with a roster full of Norwin players, dominated Belle Vernon 15-1 in five innings to win the WPSBL championship game Thursday night at Boyce Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair.

Irwin advanced to the finals of the league, which popped up after the American Legion season was canceled, with playoff victories over Mt. Lebanon, Monroeville, Plum and Upper St. Clair.

Irwin took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Justin Turcovski reached on a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a Niko Walker RBI single off starting pitcher Jared Hartman’s leg.

Irwin ran its lead to 5-0 in the third inning. Noah Wojdyla led off with a walk and Eric Chorba drove him in with a sinking liner that eluded the center fielder. Ryan Scavnicky, Lenny Piccini and Niko Walker added run-scoring singles in the inning.

Irwin blew the game open with a 10-run fourth inning. The first 12 runners reached base safely on six walks, two hit batters, an error and RBI singles by Brady Kukich, Ryan Orosz and Luke Savage.

Jake Bazala started for Irwin and allowed one run on four hits in four innings. Jayden Walker closed things out with a scoreless fifth.

Belle Vernon reached the finals with playoff wins over Seneca Valley, Highlands and Ingomar, a team that consisted of players from North Allegheny.

“We were not expecting to even be here, but we came together in the past week and beat some really good 6A schools, and tonight we just ran into this juggernaut,” said BV coach Tony Watson. “(Norwin) is on top of the heap every year. Just to be playing on the same field as them as a 4A school, we are very happy.”

Belle Vernon tried five different pitchers during the game and they all struggled with control.

“We just ran out of arms. We had a game last night and three nights ago,” Watson said. “Our guys were spent but we’re not going to make excuses. We did not throw strikes tonight.”

Mon Valley Independent contributing writer Dean Dellamalva contributed.

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