MSA Sports Baseball Playoff Recaps for Wednesday, May 14th
Thursday, May 15, 2014 | 9:30 AM
While the forecast was shaky, it turned out to be a wonderful day in Western Pa with only five games on the schedule. It took three days, but the Class AAA First Round came to an end and because of the suspended West Mifflin vs South Fayette contest fro Tuesday night, all of the Triple-A Quarterfinals were bumped back to Saturday. So it was Class A claiming the spotlight as the surprise results continued in Round Two, leaving top-seed California to battle in the Semifinals along with the #10, #11 and #13 seeds in the postseason.
A special thanks to Sean Meyers, Bob Gregg, Bobby Fox and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAA First Round:
West Mifflin Titans 8 – South Fayette Lions 3
It took two days, starting Tuesday night in Washington and ending Wednesday afternoon in Robinson Township, but the Titans eliminated the Lions to advance to the Class AAA Quarterfinals. On Tuesday before the game was suspended in the second inning, West Mifflin grabbed a 2-0 lead on an RBI triple by Zach Fodor and a run scoring double by Dan Howard. The Titans quickly built on that lead once play resumed on Wednesday on an RBI fielders choice by Fodor and a two run single by A.J. Olasz. South Fayette made a game of it in the 4th inning when Justin Foreman chased home two with a double, then scored on a double by Logan Sharp. But the Titans reposned with an unearned run in their half of the 4th and two more runs in 5th on RBI’s by Ryan Kandsberger and Fodor. Zach Salmon started and picked up the win for West Mifflin. Dom Robinson and Fodor combined for three scoreless innings for the Titans. South Fayette starter Hayden Orler started and suffered the loss, giving up 4 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Foreman pitched the final 4 2/3 and allowed two earned runs. the threesome of Kandsberger, Fodor and Olasz at the top of the West Mifflin lineup was a combined 8 for 12 with 6 runs scored and 6 RBI as the Titans improve to 13-4 and will face Section 3 rival Elizabeth Forward in the Qaurterfinals on Saturday. The season ends for South Fayette with a final record of 10-9.
WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:
California Trojans 2 – Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 0
Josh Luko fanned 13 batters and California twice scored runs without the aid of a base hit, beating Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 2-0, and extending the WPIAL’s longest active winning streak to 18 games. The Trojans are the League’s only undefeated team. After two out in the top of the third, Aaron Previsky walked and stole second. When Ron Baron’s groundball went through the shortstop’s legs, Prevesky scored. An inning later, Casey Kajicek drew a walk from losing pitcher Brendan Notaro, the sixth of the game. Notaro was relieved by Jack Matschner. Zajicek walked, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Luko’s sacrifice fly to left. CW North Catholic had five hits, including two doubles but stranded all six of its baserunners in scoring position. Luko did not walk a batter, hit one and kept CWNC from multiple hits in an inning except for two singles in the second. Only once did Luko allow a leadoff man to reach, Matschner with a double to open the sixth. Nick Nyman also doubled in the game for Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (9-9). Notaro was charged with both runs, just one earned in 3+ innings, allowing one hit and the six walks along with four strikeouts. Matschner held the fort, allowing just two hits and fanning four over the last four innings.
Sewickley Academy Panthers 4 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 2
The Panthers and Chargers split their two regular season meetings, but it was Sewickley Academy getting the better of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Wednesday in a WPIAL Class A Quarterfinals contest at North Allegheny High School. Drew Johnson allowed the first two hitters to reach in the 7th inning, but then slammed the door on a Chargers comeback attempt by retiring the next three to secure the Panthers first trip to the Final Four. Johnson ended up with 7 strikeout as Sewickley Academy improved to 9-5 and will now face top-seed California in the Semifinals on Monday. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, a finalist a year ago, ends their season at 14-6.
Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 17 – Western Beaver Golden Beavers 8
Following last year’s 6-1 loss to Western Beaver in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals, the Carmichaels baseball team had two goals heading into Wednesday’s rematch, which was contested during the 2014 quarterfinals. The team’s primary goal was to win and advance to the semifinals, the second was to get some revenge on the Golden Beavers. The Mighty Mikes accomplished both goals in resounding fashion by downing the defending WPIAL champions 17-8 at Ross Memorial Park in Washington, Pa. The Mikes (13-2) got off to a fast start by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, Senior pitcher Brandon Lawless followed by posting a one-two-three bottom of the first. The Golden Beavers (15-2) responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to cut Carmichaels’ lead in half at 4-2. The Mikes ultimately put the game away by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs in the top of the third to go up 12-2. The only thing that slowed down the Carmichaels offense on the day was a 30-minute lightning delay in the top of the fifth inning. Lawless worked all seven innings of the victory and allowed eight earned runs on eight hits, four walks and three hit batsmen. The senior righty added 10 strikeouts to the complete-game win. Western Beaver starter Steve Robison allowed eight runs, six of which were earned, on four hits and a walk. He was the first of four Golden Beaver pitchers that toed the rubber on the day. Along with his win on the mound, Lawless recorded a game-high four RBI as part of a two-for-four effort at the plate. He also scored two runs. Catcher Mike Blasinsky went three-for-four with three RBI and three runs scored. Shortstop Ty Cole added a triple, two RBI and three runs scored in the winning effort. Every Carmichaels player in the batting order scored at least one run each, while seven different Mikes posted at least one RBI each. Catcher Austin Allison paced the Western Beaver offense by going two-for-three with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored. Carmichaels advances to the WPIAL semifinals, where they will face Riverview.
Riverview Raiders 12 – Union Scotties 10
Riverview’s Tanner Bierly hit a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning to break a tie game, as the Raiders rallied for a 12-10 victory over Union in the Class A quarterfinals at Fox Chapel High School. In the wild contest, No. 11 seed Riverview squandered a six-run lead, but scored five runs in its final at-bat against the exhausted Scotties hurler, Anthony Rush. The junior pitcher went the distance for Union, which used its top two pitchers to secure a two-day, 10-inning opening round victory over Vincentian Academy. On the other side, the Raiders used three different pitchers, including two separate mound appearances from Dom Conte, en route to the dramatic victory on Wednesday. Riverview jumped out to an early lead, as it scored single runs in the first and second innings, and then exploded in the third inning, scoring four times, keyed by a Nick DiBucci two-run single. Union battled back, though, as the 14th-seeded Scotties scored three times in the bottom of the third, and added three runs in each of the two subsequent innings to eventually take a 9-7 edge. After cruising through the first two frames, Raiders starter Dom Conte yielded consecutive singles, followed by a pair of walks. Scotties catcher Kody Smith also came through with an RBI single in the third, and Conte was replaced on the hill in the fourth inning. Shayne Slebrich struggled in relief, though, and after he allowed the tying run to score in the fifth, the Raiders returned Conte to the mound in a surprising move. Union took its first lead when Conte allowed a pair of inherited runners to score on a single by Evan Torsello and a subsequent throwing error by the Raiders, and the Scotties added an insurance run off Jason Anthony in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, however, Rush finally showed signs of fatigue, after he labored through several lengthy innings earlier in the contest. DiBucci lead off with a walk for the Raiders, and Zach Hanus and Jake Paradise followed with singles, as well, to load the bases. Anthony, who had already collected three hits and a walk, then picked up his fourth hit of the contest, driving in a run. Conte then drew a bases-loaded walk to pull Riverview within one, and Slebrich’s groundout plated the tying run. After Rush forced Joe Gent to pop out, Bierly came through, as he doubled over the head of Anthony Bertolino in left field, plating Anthony and Conte. Anthony then sealed the victory in the bottom of the inning, as he induced Bertolino to bounce into the game-ending force out.
In addition to Anthony’s heroic day at the plate, Zach Hanus chipped in with three singles, and DiBucci reached base five times, including three walks and a two-run single.
For Union, Torsello reached base four times, with a pair of singles and two walks, while Smith and Jacob Jendrysik reached base three times apiece. With the victory, Riverview advances to the semifinals for the first time since 2007. The Raiders will face the winner of Western Beaver and Carmichaels, at a time and location to be determined.
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