New Castle, Bernadina top Yough in WPIAL Class 4A consolation game

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | 5:57 PM

There weren’t many scoring chances in Tuesday’s WPIAL Classs 4A third-place consolation baseball game.

That’s because the starting pitchers from both squads were dominant.

New Castle’s run through the postseason continued thanks to sophomore pitcher Rocco Bernadina.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander outdueled Yough senior lefty and Pitt recruit Jarett Bach, 1-0, at Washington & Jefferson’s Ross Memorial Park.

“It was a great pitchers’ duel,” New Castle coach Bill Cook said. “It was two tough competitors. Rocco doesn’t pitch like a sophomore. He plays like a veteran. He’s been like that all his life in anything he plays. He will battle to the end.”

The Red Hurricanes (11-10) will face District 10 champion Warren in the PIAA playoffs Monday at a site and time to be determined.

No. 9-seeded New Castle used a second-inning single by Logan Gibson to score Vince Soukovich, who walked, for the game’s only run.

Bernadina allowed two hits, two walks and struck out a career-high 14.

Bach allowed two hits and three walks and had eight strikeouts.

No. 2 Yough (15-9) had a couple of early opportunities against Bernadina. The Cougars’ biggest threat came in the bottom of the third inning when they loaded the bases with one out, but Bernadina got Bach to ground into a double play.

New Castle turned two double plays.

“He worked ahead, we took a lot fastball strikes and he got us to chase more than normal out of the zone,” Yough coach Craig Spisak said. “He’s a good pitcher, and we knew what he did in the first two rounds.

“It was limited opportunities for both teams. They got the hit and a walk, and a couple wild pitches came back to haunt us.”

New Castle defeated Elizabeth Forward and No. 1 Greensburg Salem, 1-0, in 11 innings, before falling to Blackhawk, 4-3, in the semifinals.

Bernadina pitched in the first two games.

He struck out every Yough batter except for Cody Ulander. The only players to get hits for Yough were Ray Halahurich and Mike Bell.

Gibson and Jacob Grippo had hits for New Castle. The Red Hurricanes didn’t have a hit after Gibson’s single in the second.

“We had guys on, and we didn’t get the job done,” Spisak said. “Timely hitting is the name of the game.

“We had a great year. We’ve come a long way in a year. We lose three seniors, so hopefully some other underclassmen will step up.”

Check out an archived broadcast of this game on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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