Maund helps Penn-Trafford top North Allegheny on future home field

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 9:15 PM


Maclean Maund plans to play college baseball at Seton Hill.

The Penn-Trafford senior looked right at home on his future field Wednesday as he and his teammates avenged a playoff loss to North Allegheny on the turf at the Seton Hill Baseball Complex.

Maund was glad his team rented the field for a rematch that carried plenty of meaning to the Warriors.

“I have played here a lot,” Maund said. “I feel really comfortable and I like it.”

Maund had two hits, including a triple, and two RBIs, and he picked up the pitching win in relief as the Warriors edged the Tigers, 6-5, in WPIAL Class 6A nonsection play.

North Allegheny blanked Penn-Trafford in the first round of the playoffs last year 6-0 after a rain-delayed finish at Latrobe.

Wednesday’s game was moved to Seton Hill, along with two other future games, as Penn-Trafford installs a new backstop at its home field.

Penn-Trafford (2-0) saw a 3-1 lead disappear after North Allegheny (0-2) scored four times in the top of the fourth inning. But a three-run fifth, highlighted by a heady base-running play by junior Bobby Lane, gave the Warriors control once again.

“It’s a quality win,” Penn-Trafford coach Dan Miller said. “I don’t know that it’s really a good win because we have some things we want to clean up offensively and defensively, things we have been working on in the gym, but it’s a quality win against a good baseball program.”

With North Allegheny ahead 5-3, Penn-Trafford chipped away at the deficit with patience and alertness. After back-to-back walks, junior Anthony Sherwin popped up to second, just into the outfield grass. Luke Fabac, a courtesy runner, abruptly tagged up, sprinted home and slid in head first to make it 5-4.

With two outs and two on, Maund came to the plate to face senior reliever Niklas Baldis. Maund hit a slow bouncer to the first baseman, but Baldis was late getting to the bag to make the putout. With Maund safely on, senior Jordan Sabol scored to tie it, and on a continuation of the same play, Lane alertly raced home to beat the throw and the Warriors went up 6-5.

“Bobby has always been heads-up,” Maund said.

Lane is a Cincinnati recruit. He reached base after he was hit by a pitch and stole second.

“Some things you just can’t teach,” Miller said. “Instinct takes over. There are guys that will rise to the occasion and make a baseball play and some guys will just wait for things to happen. Bobby Lane is not going to wait around for things to happen. He made a good, instinctive baseball play and it ends up being the winning run.”

North Allegheny has two, one-run losses to start the season. The Tigers lost to Mt. Lebanon, 3-2, on Tuesday.

Penn-Trafford had opened with a 10-2 win over Steel Valley on Saturday.

Maund was effective after he entered in the fifth. He struck out five and did not allow a hit. He did hit two batters in a nervous seventh, but the Warriors quelled the rally with a pick off during a run down and Maund rang up a strikeout to end it.

“Mac is going to be a great two-way player for us both offensively and defensively,” Miller said. “He also plays first base for us. He came to us as a sophomore. He developed as a junior. He and Tyler Horvat both have No. 1 potential to be on the mound. We have no problem handing (Maund) the ball whether it’s at the beginning, the middle or the end.”

Said Maund: “I pitched last year against them (in the playoff game). I feel like I will have more success this year. All around, I think we’re a better team.”

Lane, Maund and senior Tyler Chrise had RBIs in the first as the Warriors took a 3-1 lead.

Senior Anthony Hattrup drove in a run and freshman Aaron Posey brought in two more with a single to center, then scored on an error to make it 5-3 in the fourth.

Junior Ryan Daugherty tripled and senior Cam Medic doubled for the Tigers.

Miller spent more than 10 minutes talking his players in left field after the win. He knows it’s early but he also is cautiously aware of the Warriors’ potential.

“This is an experienced team,” Miller said. “Not so much from their level of play or their time on the field, just from their maturity. We have 11 seniors and eight juniors so we feel that every one of those kids can play a role on the team.”

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

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