Murrysville Star notebook: FR grad earns all-region honors for Mercyhurst baseball

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Saturday, May 29, 2021 | 11:01 AM


It has been eight years since the Mercyhurst baseball team saw a relief pitcher earn all-region honors.

But then Michael Krauza came along and had a season to place on the mantel.

Krauza was named to the NCBWA Atlantic All-Region First Team after making 19 regular season appearances and leading the PSAC with nine wins.

A St. Bonaventure transfer, Krauza posted a 2.15 ERA and allowed just 11 earned runs in 46 innings for the Lakers. He struck out 57 and walked four.

“Mike has been amazing for us this year; he has been our go-to guy in every big situation,” Mercyhurst coach Joe Spano said. “He is having one of the all-time great seasons in our program’s history.”

Krauza also was named to the All-PSAC First Team.

Tennis falls short

WPIAL boys tennis teams were swept out of the PIAA tournament in the quarterfinals on May 21 at Hershey Racquet Club. In Class 3A, WPIAL runner-up Franklin Regional lost to Lower Merion, 4-0, and WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy fell to Conestoga, 3-2.

Franklin Regional players were set to turn their attention to individual play with the doubles team of Anup Nadesan and Advait Kulkarni qualifying for states.

Franklin Regional’s banner year included an undefeated regular season and a 21st section title. Nadesan and Kulkarni won the school’s first WPIAL doubles championship.

Heartbreaker for softball

Fox Chapel’s Brynn Palmer came up in the bottom of the seventh inning of a WPIAL Class 5A softball quarterfinal against Franklin Regional and ripped the Panthers’ hearts out.

Palmer connected off Franklin Regional senior starter Makinzie DeRiggi for a three-run homer that sailed over the right-center fence to complete a dramatic late-inning rally and lift the 14th-seeded Foxes to a 7-5 victory at Plum.

Franklin Regional, the No. 11 seed that upset three-time defending WPIAL champion West Allegheny in the first round, saw its season end at 10-7.

“It was a well-played game,” Panthers coach Jim Armstrong said. “It just came down to them hitting the ball better than we did.

“But the girls battled all year, and I am proud of them for what they accomplished. We started out kind of slow as we started to find our way. We’re losing some amazing players, but we also are a young team that I think will have to be reckoned with for a while.”

Madison Nguyen homered before getting intentionally walked three times, and Kamaria Kelly also went deep for the Panthers.

They grabbed a two-run advantage on back-to-back extra-base hits: a triple from Kelly and a double from center fielder Sydney Jackson.

Panthers win lacrosse playoff game

Senior Jack Kiefer scored a dramatic game-winning goal but never saw it go into the net.

Kiefer scored with 51.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the eighth-seeded Panthers an 8-7 win over visiting Shaler in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A lacrosse playoffs.

The Panthers, though, ran into No. 1 Mars in the quarterfinals and fell, 29-3, to end their season.

Kiefer had a hat trick in the first-round win.

“We had another play designed to go to another one of our midfielders, Tyler (Reich), but it didn’t work out, but we settled down and moved the ball. Then our offensive coordinator Coach Alex (Balkishun) called for me to dodge from behind the net,” Kiefer said. “That entire game I had kind of had that defender’s number, and my confidence was rising. Once I got the ball, I knew I could take him one-on-one and win this game for us.”

Liam Kruck, Joey Rivardo (2), Ethan Baer and Haroon Nelson had goals for the Panthers.

College spotlight

Duquesne junior track and field athlete Matt Busche (Franklin Regional) won the 800-meter run at the Atlantic 10 Championships at George Mason. Busche’s time of 1 minute, 50.12 seconds broke the school record of 1:50.90 set by Tim Majewski in 2009.

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

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