Jeannette Stuns Rival Greensburg CC for 1A Baseball Gold
By: Bruce Markey
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 | 10:30 PM
On Wednesday, May 31, 2017 history was made for the Jeannette High School baseball program. The Jayhawks won their first WPIAL Championship in program history defeating the Greensburg Central Centurions 7-3.
Greensburg Central Catholic struck first in the bottom of the 3rd inning scoring two runs. Centurion Nicholas Ruggeri led off the inning by walking and working his way to second on a stolen base. Neal McDermott scored Ruggeri from second with a RBI triple and later scored on a throwing error.
Jeannette would strike next in the top of the 4th inning. Eric Hall tallied a one-out single and Blaze Tran followed suit notching a single to advance Hall from first to third. Seth Howard drove in Hall from third with a RBI single.
The next run scored between the two teams came in the bottom of the 6th when Greensburg Central Catholic’s Antonio Cavallo drove in a run with a RBI single. The Centurions would hold onto the 3-1 advantage until the top of the 7th inning.
It was a ‘do or die’ situation for Jeannette in the top of the 7th needing two runs to continue the game, and they did just that. Following a lead-off walk and a costly error, Jayhawk Tyler Elliot hit a hard ground ball that was botched by the infield, which resulted in two runs scoring. Quickly the game was tied heading to the bottom of the 7th inning.
Greensburg Central Catholic couldn’t end the game in the bottom of the 7th and extras were needed. Jeannette threatened in the top of the 8th inning having a man on second and third with two outs. The count was 0-2 on Jayhawk Drake Petrillo when the game was delayed due to lightning. Following the 40-minute delay, Greensburg Central Catholic pitcher Antonio Cavallo worked out of the jam with a much-needed groundout.
No runs would score for either team until the top of the 12th inning when Jeannette exploded, scoring four runs. Driving in the first run of the 12th was Jeannette Sophomore Zander Malik. Two more runs were driven in on an error in the outfield. One more run would score for Jeannette in the top of the 12th, giving the Jayhawks a comfortable 7-3 advantage heading to the bottom of inning number 12. Greensburg Central Catholic would not be able to score in the bottom of the 12th and the Jeannette Jayhawks would go on to celebrate their first WPIAL Championship.
This was the first championship for Jeannette Head Coach Marcus Clarkson after 16 years of leading the baseball program. Both teams will compete in PIAA playoffs Monday, June 5th. Greensburg Central Catholic with play the champion of District 6 Class 1A and Jeannette will play the third place finished in District 9 Class 1A.