North Allegheny’s David Posey turns tables, no-hits Mt. Lebanon for WPIAL Class 6A baseball title

By:
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 10:27 PM


David Posey wasn’t the starting pitcher drawing no-hit talk before the WPIAL finals, yet the North Allegheny senior walked off the mound at Wild Things Park with a zero on the scoreboard.

All eyes were on Mt. Lebanon ace David Shields, who had no-hit North Allegheny here a year ago, but Posey loved the symmetry of answering that no-hitter with his own. Locked in a pitchers’ duel with Shields, it was Posey who allowed no hits this time as North Allegheny defeated two-time defending champion Mt. Lebanon, 1-0, in the WPIAL Class 6A final May 29.

“It’s almost like surreal,” Posey said. “Last year we get thrown a no-hitter. And then this year, another David gets a no-hitter.”

The WPIAL baseball title was the ninth for North Allegheny (17-6), which already had the most in league history. However, the Tigers lost to Mt. Lebanon, 4-0, in the finals last year, a game that North Allegheny coach Andrew Heck noticed was ranked among the best in recent WPIAL history in a TribLive article.

This one could surely rank near the top, too.

“I talked to these guys last night and I told them, ‘I just read an article and it talked about the 20 best games over 20 years here,’” said Heck, pointing out how wins over future MLB Draft picks Brendan McKay of Blackhawk and Will Bednar of Mars also made the list.

“I kind of told our guys, ‘If you want to put a storybook performance up there, go beat a guy like a David Shields,’” Heck added. “Not only do we win it, we throw no-hitters in back-to-back years.”

Shields, a Miami (Fla.) commit with MLB Draft credentials, pitched another complete game in the championship rematch. The senior lefty allowed one run on five hits and one walk and struck out 11. But he was out-dueled by Posey, a Navy baseball recruit who also struck out 11.

The North Allegheny right-hander walked two and let only two other runners reach base, one on a wild pitch after a strikeout and another on an error in the outfield.

“We’ve worked so hard for this,” said Posey, who improved to 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA. “This is a great group of kids. We bounce back. We’re fighters.”

The game’s only run came on a bizarre third-inning home run when Mason Smith’s long fly ball apparently bounced off the head of Mt. Lebanon left fielder Sawyer Klasnick. The four other hits allowed by Shields were all singles.

“The kid just barreled it up and it hit off of Sawyer and went over the fence,” Mt. Lebanon coach Patt McCloskey said. “It’s just one of those things. If you’re around baseball long enough, stuff like that happens.”

Mt. Lebanon (18-5) was trying to become only the third team to win three consecutive WPIAL titles and only the second in more than 100 years. Both teams advance to the PIAA playoffs that start Monday.

“We took our silver medals and said the season’s not over,” McCloskey said. “It was a great game, 1-0, to a great team. Fortunately, we’re still playing and have a chance to play for a state championship.”

Smith, a junior whose home run broke the scoreless tie, said he never saw the ball bounce over the fence. Not until he reached the dugout did he find out what had happened in left field. The homer was his first.

“I was rounding second base and didn’t see the ball,” Smith said. “I kind of hesitated, but they started signaling (for a home run). It felt amazing.”

One threat to Posey’s no-hitter was a fifth-inning fly ball that dropped just inside the left-field line. North Allegheny outfielder Nico Varlotta couldn’t make the catch after a long run, but the official scorekeeper ruled the play as a two-base error.

The no hitter was the fourth in the WPIAL finals since the games moved to Washington in 2003. Serra Catholic’s Alain Girman no-hit Neshannock in 2017, and Union’s Jake Vitale no-hit Riverview in 2021.

Posey retired 16 of the first 18 batters before allowing consecutive walks in the sixth inning. He stranded both of those runners with an inning-ending popup.

“David was outstanding,” Heck said. “He was really, really good. I was just hoping that he could get through that last inning.”

The biggest threat to his no-hit bid maybe was a cramp in his calf that struck in the top of the seventh inning. He felt it while running to first base after hitting a single.

Posey was replaced by a courtesy runner and limped to the dugout, but insisted afterward that there was no chance he would’ve left the mound three outs short of a no-hitter and WPIAL title.

“No way,” Posey said. “I wasn’t letting anybody take me out. No, no, no.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

Tags: ,

More Baseball

Avonworth says disputed call in PIAA finals shifted momentum in 12-0 loss to Neumann-Goretti
Eden Christian falls to undefeated Faith Christian in PIAA Class A final
Indiana’s 1st appearance in PIAA baseball finals ends with walk-off loss to Holy Ghost Prep
PIAA Class A baseball championship preview: Eden Christian vs. Faith Christian
PIAA Class 3A baseball championship preview: Avonworth vs. Neumann-Goretti