North Allegheny Knocks Seneca Valley From WPIAL Quad-A Baseball Perch

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 10:55 PM

The North Allegheny Tigers won their seventh WPIAL baseball title with a 4-2 victory over the Seneca Valley Raiders at Consol Energy Park on Wednesday night. Mitchell Machi pitched 6. 1 innings for the win, he was the winner in three consecutive post-season starts. The championship is the first for the Tigers since 2009. Brandon Bergstrom went 2 for 3 at the plate, including a double and started two double plays on defense. Machi credited Bergstrom and all of his fielders for helping him out of jams.

The Tigers avenged two 3-2 losses to the Raiders on April 11 and April 25, North Allegheny will take on Hempfield for a second time in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs on Monday. The Tigers shut out the Spartans 3-0 in the WPIAL semifinal round.

It was Seneca Valley that took the early 1-0 lead. Carson Kessler doubled just inside the right field line to lead off the second inning. Gianpaul Gonzales moved Kessler to third with a bunt, Jason Martin walked to give the Raiders men at the corners. Kent State recruit Zach Spangler hit a fly ball to right, bringing home Kessler from third.

North Allegheny took the lead in the bottom of the second and with two outs. Sean Fitzgerald and Zach Woloszyk both singled. Connor Coward struck out Machi to end the inning or so he thought, the ball got away from Brad Gresock and allowed Machi to reach and load the bases. Bergstrom drew a five pitch walk to bring home Fitzgerald and the tying run. Coward was called for a balk before the next pitch to allow Woloszyk to score and give NA the lead for good.

Both teams would flash the leather in the middle innings. Seneca Valley got an inning ending double play started by shortstop Alex Hajduk. North Allegheny got a pair of double plays in the fourth and fifth turned by their shortstop Bergstrom.

The Tigers added to the lead in the fifth, using only one hit. Bergstrom led off the inning with a double to the wall in left center field. James Meeker bunted to Coward on the mound, he turned towards second and had no play there, allowing Meeker to reach first. Matt Waugaman bunted but catcher Gresock threw the ball down the right field line, allowing Bergstrom to score and Meeker to go to third. Jummy Divosevic laid down a squeeze bunt, bringing Meeker home and giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

The Raiders made things interesting late, scoring a run in the sixth as Citadel football recruit Jon Dorogy walked to lead off the inning. Machi uncorked a wild pitch and Dorogy showed why he is a two sport star, by going from first to third base. The senior was the silver medalist at the recent PIAA Track and Fiield in the 100 meter dash. Gresock brought Dorogy home on a ground out to second to cut the lead two entering the seventh.

Machi started the seventh getting Gonzales to ground out to short, but Martin and Spangler both singled to put the tying run on base and forced Tigers boss Andy Maddix to go to the bullpen and bring on Jason Monper. The junior fanned both Coward and Hajduk to end the game and give the Tigers their gold. Maddix said the pitching depth has been a key to the Tigers success all season. North Allegheny is now 20-4 overall and has won eight straight games.

Coward suffered the loss for the Raiders, falling to 7-1, he allowed four runs in five innings of work, he had posted two shutouts in both the quarter and semifinal rounds. Seneca Valley is now 18-4 overall, the Raiders will now play Dubois, an 8-3 winner in the PIAA sub-regional game over Erie McDowell earlier today.

SENECA VALLEY RAIDERS 0 – 1 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 0   4 – 6 – 0
NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS 0 – 2 – 0 – 0 – 2 – 0 – x    2 – 4 – 1

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