MSA Sports Baseball Playoff Recaps for Saturday, May 17th

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Saturday, May 17, 2014 | 7:28 PM


The surprises continued on Quarterfinals Saturday in AAAA, AAA and AA as the baseball brackets continue to be busted. The #1 seed in Class AA, Neshannock was ousted as was the #2-seed in Class AAA in Chartiers Valley. Here are recaps from all twelve second round baseball games as the twists and turns to CONSOL Energy Field continue.

A special thanks to Sean Meyers, Brandon Showers, Bob Gregg, Pete Blais, Josh Rowntree, Mike Azadian and Mark Schaas for their help on these recaps.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

Seneca Valley Raiders 3 – Shaler Titans 0 
Connor Coward’s successful return to the mound helped lead No. 16 seed
Seneca Valley to a 3-0 victory over ninth-seed Shaler Area in the Quad-A
quarterfinals at Fox Chapel High School.

After missing more than a month due to injury, Coward earned the win, as he
worked five stellar innings, yielding only three hits while striking out
six Titans. A Virginia Tech commit, Coward showed no signs of rust, as he
located his pitches and kept the Titans off balance throughout the contest.

Offensively, the Raiders collected only five hits, but were opportunistic
in the third inning, scoring twice. Coward led off with a double to right,
and moved to third and later scored on a pair of wild pitches by Titans
hurler Gavin Cannon. Later in the frame, John Harper singled and induced a
wild throw when he stole second base, allowing him to advance to third.
John Brittner’s sacrifice fly would plate the second run of the contest for
Seneca Valley.

In the sixth, the Raiders added another run courtesy of a sacrifice fly.
Brittner led off with a double, and a perfectly placed bunt single by

Matthew Rafferty placed runners on the corners. Vincent Augustine’s fly
ball to left plated Brittner to cap the scoring.

Rafferty, who reached in all three of his plate appearances, then came on
in relief of Coward in the bottom half of the sixth, and did not allow a
hit over final two innings. Cannon was the tough-luck loser for Shaler, as
he worked a complete game, striking out nine.

With two victories in less than 24 hours, including knocking off the
top-seeded Hempfield Spartans in the first round, Seneca Valley advances to
the semifinals for the fourth straight year, as the Raiders will face Pine
Richland on Wednesday.

Pine-Richland Rams 16 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 4
The bats came alive for the No. 4 Pine Richland Rams in the quarterfinals against
the No. 5 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils in a 16-4 win. Playing at West Mifflin High School
amidst some wet conditions, the Rams scored three runs in the first, four in the
second, five in the sixth, and three more in the seventh. Pine Richland also managed
to get 12 of their 16 runs with two outs. The Rams got things going early against
Blue Devil starter, Zack Bahm with three runs in the top half of the opening frame.
Daane Berezo walked and reached second on an errant pick-off attempt from Bahm.
Jamie Switalksi then singled home Berezo. Bahm then hit three consecutive batters in
a row including Nick Roth who eventually reached third base in the process. Roth
then stole home for the Rams’ third run. It was the second game in a row the Rams
successfully had a player steal home. The Blue Devils responded well initially to
the early Pine Richland attack and posted four runs in the bottom of the second
inning to briefly take the lead. Austin Kitchen led off the inning with a solo home
run. Austin Eaton followed up with a single and scored as Eddie Jenkins crushed a
two-run homer to left field to tie the game at three. Brian Isler then singled and
stole second base. Then, Dante D’Allesandro brought home Isler on an RBI single. The
Mt. Leanon one run lead would not last for long, however. The Rams would jump back
on Bahm for four more runs in the top of the third including runs scored from
Switalski, Chris Grguras as both came home on a two-RBI double from Matt Kaminicky.
Kaminicky and Gessner both scored on a two-RBI double from Andrew Nussbaum. Later in
the game, the Pine RIchland offensive barrage only continued. Highlights of it
included RBI singles from Nick Roth and Joey Professori and a three-run homer from
Kaminicky. Pine Richland tacked on four more runs in their half of the seventh to
complete the rout. Bahm lasted four innings and let up seven runs on six hits and
walked four and hit three batters. Austin Eaton replaced him in the fifth and lasted
two innings but surrendered eight runs on seven hits and Josh Lowen finished things
off for the Blue Devils, who recorded the final three outs of the game but allowed
one run. For Pine Richland, Tyler Deluca got the start but after he allowed the four
runs in the second inning, Nick Roth replaced him and went on to pitch five strong
innings allowing just 2 hits and no runs while striking out two. Pine Richland now
advances to the AAAA semifinals to face Seneca Valley this Wednesday. You can find
that game right here on the MSA Sports Network.

Baldwin Highlanders 14 – Plum Mustangs 4 
The No. 2 Baldwin Highlanders defeated the No. 10 Plum Mustangs for the third time
this season as the section 3 rivals met once again, this time in the AAAA
quarterfinals. Despite it being a playoff matchup, the meeting of the two was the
most lopsided affair of their three matchups this season as Baldwin cruised to a
14-4, five inning mercy rule victory. Although the Mustangs scored two runs in each
of the first two innings, the Highlanders had an answer each time and then some.
Plum got things going offensively in the top of the first when Ethan Winesburgh
doubled and Alex Kiriloff crushed a homer to center field for the early two run
lead. Baldwin picked up two as well in the first when Morgan Schmitt reached on an
infield single and Tom McCarthy doubled to put runners on second and third. Schmitt
scored an RBI single from Alex Pantuso and McCarthy tagged up from third on Jordan
Gitzen’s sacrifice fly. Plum came right back in the top of the second to grab a
couple more runs as Zach Sansonetti led off with a double and Ethan Winesburgh
brought him home with a double of his own. Another double, this time from Michael
Maleski, scored Winesburgh from second. That would be it for the Plum offense but
Baldwin was just getting started. A huge third inning for the Highlanders saw them
score 12 runs over 16 at-bats. Eight of the nine players in the Baldwin lineup
scored at least one run and three different Plum pitchers appeared in the inning.
Although the Highlanders had just five hits in the inning, they were helped by five
walks, one hit batsman, and four errors by the Plum pitching and defense. They took
advantage for the 12 runs and the rout was on. Plum starter, Ethan Winesburgh, was
chased from the game going just 2 and one third innings and let in five runs. Nick
Satovich came in for relief but had trouble finding outs as well. Phillip Mahr also
entered the game in replacement of Stahovich but by that time the damage was done.
Highlighting the big third inning for Baldwin was a three-RBI double from Schmitt
(although one of those runs was unearned via an error from Winesburgh who moved to
centerfield after his outing on the mount.) Schmitt’s 3-4 day at the plate, which
included two singles, one double, 4 RBIs, and two runs scored, led the way for
Highlander offense. Nick Bernick also smacked a two-RBI double and Zach Murray
contributed an one-RBI double. Bernick pitched for the Highlanders and went the
five-inning distance and allowed four runs on six hits, struck out two, and walked
none. Baldwin is now set to face the Moon Tigers this Wednesday. That game can be
heard here on the MSA Sports Network.

Moon Tigers 5 – Canon-McMillan Big Macs 3 
A five-run second inning was more than enough as Moon Area topped
Canon-McMillan, 5-3.  The #11 Tigers have now won five straight as Colton
Hower shutdown the bottom part of the Big Macs order and limited CM to just
six hits.  Hitters 4-through-9 went a combined 1-for-17 for Canon-McMillan,
DH Dustin Bernardi leading off the third with a single for the only hit in
the group. CM got on the board in the bottom of the first.  Chandler Palyas
walked and moved to second on Teagan Piechnick’s single.  Jared Beach flied
out to right with Palyas taking third.  When Piechnick was caught stealing,
Palyas scored from third.  After one out in the Moon second inning, Ron
Yardas walked.  Brian Schaffer and Hower singled to load the bases.  Matt
Capo walked, forcing in Yardas.  Josh Bogats singled, plating Shaffer.
After starter and loser Kevin Rush was lifted for Matt Mish, a passed ball
scored Hower.  Austin Hoffman singled to drive in Capo with the fourth run,
and when the Big Macs threw the ball around the infield trying to get an out
at third, then second, Bogats scored to make it 5-1.  Mish scattered four
hits over the next five innings, keeping the Big Macs in the game.
Canon-McMillan (13-6) put three hits together after two outs in the third,
Palyas and Piechnick singles turning into runs thanks to Beach’s double down
the leftfield line.  But Hower slammed the door from that point as the Big
Macs had just one hit the rest of the way. Hower got the win for Moon
(15-3), giving up the three runs on six hits, walking two and fanning seven.
Rush was charged with all five Moon runs in just 1 1/3 innings of work.
Seven different Moon batters had hits, Hower a pair, all singles. Palyas and
Piechnick each had two singles for Canon-McMillan, winners of six of the
last eight entering the game.

WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

Blackhawk Cougars 4 – Indiana Little Indians 0
see article

West Mifflin Titans 4 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors 3 
No. 4 West Mifflin (14-4) survived a late inning comeback attempt, taking
down No. 12 Elizabeth Forward 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at Woodland Hills
High School. The Titans benefitted from four costly errors by the Elizabeth
Forward defense. Zach Salmon picked up the win for West Mifflin, allowing
just one run on four hits and striking out eight batters in four a
two-thirds innings of work. After reaching base on an infield single to
start the second inning, Ryan Catalogna would come in to score three
batters later, as a fly ball hit by Dominique Robinson would be dropped by
Warriors’ Right Fielder Justin Bakewell. West Mifflin would push their lead
to 3-0 in the 3rd inning, as Zach Fodor would score from first base on a
throwing error by Warriors’ Third Baseman Ryan Wardropper. Wardropper, who
charged on a ball that was bunted by AJ Olsz would throw the ball into
right field, allowing Fodor to score and Olasz to advance to third base.
The next batter, Dan Howard, would rip an RBI single into left field,
pushing the West Mifflin lead to 3-0. Elizabeth Forward (12-8) would get on
the board in the 5th inning, as Will Scott would hit a leadoff double and
then see his courtesy runner score three batters later on an RBI single by
Wes Scott. But the Warriors would answer back in the 6th inning, as
Robinson would draw a leadoff walk and score on an RBI single by Fodor.
Elizabeth Forward starter Luke Padezan would leave the bases loaded though,
keeping the Warriors within striking distance heading into the final frame.
Elizabeth Forward would chase Titans’ reliever Robinson, plating two runs
and cutting the lead to 4-3. But Fodor would come on and, after an error
and a walk, would induce two fly balls to end the game. Padezan pitched a
complete game, allowing four runs on six hits, while striking out five
batters and walking five. Only one of his four runs allowed was earned.
Catalogna was the only player to record multiple hits in the game for West
Mifflin. Elizabeth Forward received strong effort from the final two
hitters in their batting order, as Mark Simon and Wes Scott both singled
twice. However, the top seven batters in the Warriors’ order finished just
2-for-21 at the plate. West Mifflin advances to the WPIAL AAA Semifinals on
Wednesday and will meet top-seed Blackhawk at a site and time to be
determined.

West Allegheny Indians 4 – Chartiers Valley Colts 2 
Chasen Claus and Jake Cunningham each drove in a pair of runs and Colin
Claus held #2 Chartiers Valley to just three hits over the final six innings
as West Allegheny downed the Colts, 4-2, the Indians’ sixth straight win.
The loss eliminated Chartiers Valley and snapped a six-game win streak.
Tanner Garis walked to open the game for CV, stole second and scored on
back-to-back singles by Brady Gulakowski and Joe Sibeto. After a strikeout
and a walk, Dom Castello singled to center, scoring Gulakowski but Sibeto’s
courtesy runner, Mitch Ingold, was thrown out by WA centerfielder Mike
Cummings.  The Indians (16-4) tied the game in the bottom of the frame.
Tyler Amedure walked and stole second.  One out later, Alec Palmer walked
and was forced at second, moving Amedure to third.  Chasen Claus doubled to
right-center, scoring Amedure and courtesy runner Tyler Scanlon.  West
Allegheny took the lead in the third off starter and loser Castello,
stroking four straight singles after one out. Cunningham drove in Palmer,
who had the first hit, and Scanlon, again running for Brandon Pouch who had
the second single.  Chartiers Valley (16-4), suffering just its second loss
since late March, was held in check the rest of the way, at one point
getting just one baserunner over a stretch of 14 batters.  The Colts got two
singles after two out in the fifth, and a two-out walk in the sixth put two
on but CV didn’t get a runner as far as third after Ingold was thrown out at
home in the first. Colin Claus got the complete game, allowing just two runs
on six hits while striking out five.  Castello was charged with all four
runs on seven hits and three walks.  Josh LaPiana relieved Castello and
retired nine straight after giving up a bunt single in the fourth, including
five strikeouts.  Sibeto finished with three singles, Gulakowski two.
Chartiers Valley had just one hit from the final six spots in the order,
going a combined 1-for-16.  West Allegheny got hits from six different
players, two apiece for the Claus’s–Chasen with a double and a single,
Colin with two singles.

Hampton Talbots vs Knoch Knights postponed until Monday

WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

Seton-LaSalle Rebels 3 – Neshannock Lancers 2 in 9 Innings 
Poetic justice thy name is Liam, Sweeny that is. The Seton-La Salle Rebels’ catcher
came up with a 1 out RBI double in the bottom of the 9th to knock off the top seeded
Neshannock Lancers, 3-2. The game was 2-1 from the 4th inning until the top of the
7th with 2 outs. Marcus Giangiuli bunted the tying run in in the form of Jeff
Sanflippo. After 2 at bats a piece the Rebels took advantage of hitting with runners
in scoring position. Sweeny who to that point in the game was 0-4 with a couple of
strike outs and stranded 5 on base took the first pitch of the at bat and lifted it
over CF Marcus Giangiuli to score Matt Wilke. The Rebels rode the arm of junior
pitcher Carson Rebel who pitched 9 innings giving up two earned runs on 7 hits to
the victory. Rebel by all accounts a contact pitcher trusted his seven defenders
behind him to make the plays and that they did. The Rebels committed zero errors and
made a few spectacular plays in the field. Neshannock ends their season 18-2 while
Seton-La Salle goes to 14-5 and awaits the winner of South Side and Deer
Lakes.

Deer Lakes Lancers 2 – South Side Rams 0
In WPIAL AA baseball second round playoff action the number 5 seed the Deer Lakes
Lancers win a tight pitchers duel over the number 4 seed the South Side Rams by a
score of 2-0 in Robinsn Township at the Burkett Complex.

Nolan Lamont from the Rams, and Ryan Petrone of Deer Lakes squared off as mound
opponents and both brought their best stuff. Lamont is more of a power pitcher with
a fastball curve combo. A little wild at times the right hander would strike out 13
on the night. Petrone is a crafty lefty, with a slow curve a sneaky fast ball, and
pitches to contact. He’s a finesse pitcher and would only allow 6 baseruners in the
game.

The Lancers took the lead in the third inning as Matt Olesnevich led off with a walk
and was sacrificed to 2nd base. Todd Coleman would get an RBI single and Deer Lakes
led 1-0. They would score in the 5th again as Olesnevich would lead off being hit by
a pitch. Again he was sacrificed to 2nd base. After stealing third base he would
score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

This game saw great defense as well. Scott Ventura made two outstanding defensive
plays at third base in the 6th inning to keep South side off base. He was the lancer
who laid down both sacrifice bunts tat helped them score both runs as well.

South Side which had only 6 baserunners had no luck against Petrone. In the first
inning after a lead off single Dustin Lander was thrown out trying to steal second
base. In the 5th inning with runners on 1st and 2nd base with one out Jared Conti
singled and head coach Chip Hunter waved the runner home. Lancer right fielder Dom
Chiera gunned him down with a perfect throw to keep the Rams off the board.

South Side which shared a section title and made it to the playoffs for the first
time in 14 years ends their season at 16-3. Lamont takes the tough loss going 7
innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 hit batter, and 2 runs. Walter Riggs had 2
singles in going 2 for 3.

Deer Lakes improves to 16-4 on the season and will play Seton La Salle in the semi
finals next week. Petrone went 7 innings for the win, allowing only 4 hits, 2 walks,
striking out 5 and getting the shut out.

Quaker Valley Quakers 9 – Beaver Bobcats 2 
In a rematch of the 2013 Class AA championship game, the Quakers
got revenge on the Bobcats with the win at Pullman Park Saturday night. Quaker
Valley pounded out ten hits and took advantage of three Beaver errors to
advance to Wednesday’s semifinals against Deer Lakes. The Beaver loss now means
all four defending champions are eliminated from the postseason as North
Allegheny, South Park and Western Beaver all suffered first round losses.
Matt Delie started for QV and pitched out of jams in the
second and third innings. Beaver had eleven hits and left thirteen runners on
base, including the bases loaded in the second, fourth and sixth. Quaker Valley
took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second on Christian Miller’s sac fly to
right, a run scoring single by Alex Tanabe and a Delie single. The Bobcats
scored one in the third, Zach Logan came home on a wild pitch. Quaker Valley
countered with three more runs in the fourth, Delie drew a bases loaded walk,
Ben Utterback’s sac fly scored Miller and Tanabe scored on a wild pitch. Beaver
scored their second run on a Logan single. Quaker Valley wasn’t done, the Quakers
plated a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Delie pitched 3.1 innings, he was forced to leave with a
hand injury, he allowed two runs on six hits and fanned three. Miller came on
to get the win, in 2.2 innings, he scattered five hits. Utterback pitched a
scoreless seventh. Delie and Utterback each went 2 for 3 at the plate and both
drove in a run. Quaker Valley is now 17-2 and has won 15 straight games.
Beaver ends the season at 11-6, the Bobcats started the season
1-5 and had won 10 straight coming in. Dillion Hinzy took the loss, leaving
with no outs in the fourth, he allowed six runs on seven hits. Logan, Alex
Rowse, Jordan Yates and Lucas Carroll all had two hits.  The loss by the Bobcats
also ends the run of four straight WPIAL Class AA titles by members of Section 5,
with Beaver Falls, Riverside, Ellwood City, along with Beaver claiming gold medals.

Steel Valley Ironmen 14 – Riverside Panthers 7 
Talk about a tale of two days. After squeaking out a 1-0 victory in the

WPIAL AA First Round on Friday, No. 3 Steel Valley rattled off 14 runs,
routing No. 11 Riverside 14-7 on Saturday afternoon at Woodland Hills High
School. The Ironmen banged out 18 hits in the ballgame, with seven players
recording multiple hits. Leading the way for Steel Valley was decorated
Junior Brandon Donovan. A day after pitching a one-hitter in the win over
Apollo-Ridge, Donovan got it done at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double
and a monster two-run home run in the first inning, racking up 4 RBI in the
contest. Derek Morrison picked up the complete game win for the Ironmen,
allowing seven runs on nine hits, while striking out four batters and
walking two. Only one of his seven runs allowed was earned. After Donovan
connected on the first inning bomb, Bryce Varhola would drive in Morrison
with an RBI single, giving Steel Valley a 3-0 lead after one inning. The
lead would grow in the 2nd inning, as a costly error by Riverside Catcher
Peyton Pacella during a rundown would allow a run to score. The inning
would be extended because of the error, allowing Sam Ligeros to drive a
2-RBI single into the outfield, expanding Steel Valley’s lead to 6-0. In
the third inning, Riveside would get on the board, as a leadoff error would
be brought home on a sacrifice fly by Michael Boswell, cutting the
Ironmen’s lead to 6-1. Morrison would notch a leadoff triple to start the
fifth inning and score three batters later on an RBI single by Cole Eged,
giving Steel Valley a 7-1. Ross Maietta, who started on the mound for
RIverside, would make things interesting in the bottom of the fifth inning,
crushing a three-run home run over the center field fence, making it a 7-4
game and swinging momentum to the RIverside dugout. But the momentum would
quickly evaporate, as Steel Valley would plate four runs in the sixth
inning, as Donovan, Ligeros, Varhola and Mike Hoesch would all drive in
runs with RBI singles. After a Jason Dambach RBI base hit in the bottom
half of the sixth, Steel Valley would keep the hot hitting up, as Andrew
Chuba and Donovan would crush back-to-back doubles off of Riverside
reliever Boswell. Five batters later, Hoesch would bring home two runs with
a double, sending the Ironmen to a 14-5 lead. Despite plating a pair of
runs in the bottom of the seventh, it wasn’t enough to overcome Morrison, a
South Carolina-Aiken recruit, who improved to 6-0 on the season. Maietta
was tagged with the loss for Riverside, going just one and one-third of an
inning and allowing five runs on five hits. Mitch Connelly allowed six runs
in three and two-thirds innings of relief and Boswell surrendered three
more runs late in the game. In addition to Donovan’s three hits, three runs
scored and four RBIs, Ligeros would record two hits and three RBIs, Mike
Hoesch would pick up two hits and three RBIs, Varhola would bring home two
runs on three hits and leadoff man Matt Hoesch would single three times and
score three runs. Andrew Chuba also scored three runs in the offensive
explosion by Steel Valley. With the win, Steel Valley advances to their
first WPIAL Semifinal since 2006, where they will be No. 2 Quaker Valley on
Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

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