PIAA Baseball/Softball First Round Recaps From Tuesday, June 6th

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 | 12:18 AM

Mother Nature slowed down the start of the state baseball and softball playoffs in Southwestern Pennsylvania as plenty of WPIAL had to wait until Tuesday to begin their quest for PIAA gold. While the WPIAL baseball teams stumbled out of the gate, district softball teams were shining bright with 13 wins in 19 games. Here are recaps from baseball and softball state playoff games heard Tuesday on MSA Sports.

A special thanks to Justin McCauley, Jason Tennant, Josh Rowntree, James Dotson, Mark Schaas, Greg Kuntz, Donny Chedrick, Rob McKinney, Bob Gregg, Randy Gore and Bobby Fox for their help on these recaps. 


PIAA CLASS 6-A First Round:

Penn Manor Comets 6 – PINE-RICHLAND RAMS 4  
Penn Manor Comets seniors had quite a day. After a rainout forced the game to be pushed to Tuesday, June 6 and moved to Somerset High School because of graduation day for Penn Manor the three seed from District 3 upset the champs from District 7 Pine-Richland Rams 6-4. The early start time and long travel distances seem to have a sluggish start on the pitchers for both teams early. The Rams jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a RBI single by Hunter Treece. Matt Tulli was chased after the first two Rams reache base in the third. In come lefty Dlyan Crooks and the silence of Pine-Richalnd bats. Over the next four innings Crooks allowed just one run on two hits. This gave the Comets the chance to chip away at the lead and explode out in front with a big fifth inning. In the fifth inning alone all nine Comet batters took an at-bat scoring 3 runs on four hits to take a 5-3 lead. Penn Manor never looked back getting a much-needed insurance run the following inning.  In the seventh the Comets send ace Jeff Talyor to shut the door which he did, earning the save and giving the Comets the 6-4 win. Penn Manor plays next Thursday June 8th against the winner of State College and North Allegheny.

PIAA CLASS 5-A First Round:

LATROBE WILDCATS 5 – Manheim Central Barons 4
WPIAL 5-A Champion Latrobe (21-2) once again kept their season alive with a 7th inning postseason rally, topping District 3’s 4th place finisher Manheim Central 5-4 on Tuesday at Indiana’s Keystone Rehab Field. After struggling to find offense against Manheim Central lefty Taylor Rohrer, Latrobe’s Ryan Augustine’s base hit capped a rally from 4-0 down, as Latrobe scored four runs in the final inning to advance to the PIAA 5A Quarterfinals. The Barons got their first run on an RBI single by Rohrer off Latrobe starter Ryan Shawley. The hit followed a pair of Latrobe errors, including a throwing miscue by Virginia Tech recruit Zach Kokoska. Kokoska, however, atoned for the mistake, ending the inning by throwing out a Barons’ runner at the plate. Manheim Central’s Taylor Lutz and Bryce Eberly each walked to start the 4th inning and later scored on the second fielding error by Seton Hill recruit Jared Kollar and an RBI fielder’s choice by Brandon Fisher. Nate Loser drove in Fisher with a single to push the Barons’ lead to 4-0. But Shawley then settled down, retiring ten of the game’s final 13 batters, and the Latrobe bats came alive. The Wildcats, coming off their first WPIAL Championship victory in program history, had two players reach via errors in the 6th, as Augustine’s sacrifice fly made it a 4-1 game. Rohrer exited after the 6th, finishing with an unearned run allowed on four hits, with nine strikeouts to only one walk. With Sophomore Drew Mummau on the hill, Latrobe loaded the bases and scored a run without recording a hit, as Antonio Noble walked, Tyler Roble was hit by a pitch and Kokoska was walked intentionally. The strategy of walking Kokoska to get to Griffin Clark, one that backfired on Montour in the WPIAL Quarterfinals, also came back to haunt Manheim Central. Mummau tossed a wild pitch, allowing Noble to score before Clark connected on a single up the middle, scoring Roble and Kokoska to tie the game. Augustine, a St. Vincent recruit, then drove a ball into right and Clark beat Nate Loser’s throw to the plate to win the game. Shawley, the Chatham recruit who allowed just five runs all season, ended up going the distance with four runs surrendered, two earned, on eight hits, walking two and striking out four. Latrobe next meets West Allegheny, an 11-3 winner over Cathedral Prep in the First Round. Manheim Central, which only had three senior starters, was led offensively by Jake Novak, who finished with three hits, and Rohrer, who added two hits. 

PIAA CLASS 4-A First Round:

BLACKHAWK COUGARS 2 – Hickory Hornets 1
It was the WPIAL 4A champion Blackhawk Cougars taking on the runner-up from District 10, the Hickory Hornets in the 1st Round of the PIAA State Playoffs at Neshannock High School in New Castle with a spot in the Quarters hanging in the balance.  The Cougars cracked the scoreboard first in the bottom of 1 as Tyler Robinson led off with a walk.  He moved all the way to 3rd on a 2-base error by Hickory starter Aaron Erimias while attempting to field a sacrifice bunt.  His flip sailed over the head of 1B Spencer McLaughlin, which put runners at 2nd & 3rd.  Robinson scored on a groundout by Mark Engel to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. Neither team recorded a hit until the top of the 4th as Blackhawk starter Andy McClymonds retired the first 11 batters he faced, fanning 7 of them.  A single by Hickory’s Cameron Whalen broke up both the perfect game and the no-hitter. Blackhawk did not get its first hit until the 5th inning as the Hornets committed 3 errors in the first 4 innings.  Robinson fixed that with a 1-out single.  He stole 2nd and moved to 3rd on a wild pitch.  He scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Ceriani for a 2-0 Blackhawk lead.  Darren Mitchell led off the top of the 6th with a base hit and stole 2nd.  Whalen’s RBI-Single put the Hornets on the board and cut the lead in half to 2-1.  Despite giving up a single to Tyler Mellott, Blackhawk’s Michael Turconi struck out the side in the 7th to slam the door and insure the victory.  McClymonds got the win by going 6 innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 3 hits, striking out 11 and hitting one batter.  He is now 9-0.  Erimias suffered the loss as he also pitched 6, charged with 2 runs, 1 earned, 3 hits, 4 K’s, and 1 walk.  The Cougars will face Forest Hills, the champs in District 6, in the Quarterfinal Round of the 4A bracket and will go in with a 22-2-1 record.  Hickory’s season is over at 14-7. 

PIAA CLASS 3-A First Round:

RIVERSIDE PANTHERS 5 – Fairview Tigers 4
Anthony Tollari’s walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning capped off another Riverside come-from-behind victory in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A Playoffs. Tollari’s shot fell over the right fielder’s head, allowing pinch runner Ben Hughes to score the winning run in a 5-4 Panthers victory.  In a game featuring two pitchers with a combined ERA of 0.15 on the season, it was the offenses that jumped to the early advantage. Fairview took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Chris Hudson’s two-out RBI single off of Riverside starter Adam Jeannette (3-0, 0.00 ERA). The Tigers extended their lead in the second after back-to-back walks and a single brought the top of the lineup to the plate with the bases loaded. Leadoff hitter Travis Chorney struck out, but the pitch got away from catcher Gunner Boehm, allowing a run to score. After Ryan Cedzo was intentionally walked, Zack Peterman drew an RBI base on balls. Jeannette was then pulled after 1 2/3 innings, and Boehm took over on the hill. He walked the first batter he faced to make the score 4-0 Tigers. Riverside responded in a big way off of Fairview ace Ryan Cedzo (8-0, 0.15 ERA) in the bottom of the second. Christian Cicchinelli led off with a double to start the rally, and then with bases loaded and two outs, Ricky Wass delivered a two-RBI single to cut the Fairview lead in half. The next batter, Ty Thellman, followed with a two-RBI single to right to tie the game at 4-4 after two innings. Both pitchers settled down and got in a groove for the next innings, putting goose eggs on the scoreboard. Each team had chances to take the lead, with Fairview leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and with Riverside leaving bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth. After the Tigers left two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh, Riverside began their rally with another Cicchinelli leadoff hit. His pinch-runner Hughes was sacrificed to second and made it to third on a Danny Fox single. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Anthony Tollari delivered the game-winning hit. District 10 runner-up Fairview (15-4) sees their season come to a close, while Riverside (19-1) advances to the PIAA Quarterfinals on Thursday against Martinsburg Central at a site and time to be determined. That game will be a rematch of last year’s 2-0 Riverside victory over Central in the PIAA Quarterfinals. 

PIAA CLASS 2-A First Round:

Saegertown Panthers 7 – CALIFORNIA TROJANS 3
The WPIAL champions jumped to a 2nd inning lead at Neshannock but could not maintain the advantage, seeing their dream season come to an end. The Trojans led 2-0 in the 2nd using a wild pitch and a run scoring single by Brendan Sheehan. Saegertown scored three in the third off Cal starter and loser Brandon Powell. A single and two errors loaded the bases, clean up hitter Nick Palmer was hit by a pitch to force home a run. Dillion Steiner tied the game with a sac fly and Chase Leech’s single put the Panthers up for good. Cal tied the game in thr bottom of the inning on a Tyler Jacobs ground out, scoring Alex Adams from third. The District 10 runners up scored solo runs in the 4th and 5th on a Dane Rhoades walk and a bases loaded walk to Ryan Sherry. Leading 5-3, Saegertown scored two more runs in the 6th on a wild pitch and a Josh Weaver ground out. California had the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 6th, but but a shallow fly ball off the bat of Drake Johnson should have scored a run as Rhoades was not throwing home, but Jacob Swartz strayed too far off of second and was picked off prior to the run scoring for a inning ending double play. California got a double play of their own in the 7th as Bobby Harris nailed a runner with a strike to the plate to end the inning. The Trojans went 1-2-3 in the bottom and their season was finished. The Panthers are now 16-7 and will meet District 9 champ Brookville on Thursday. Saegertown pounded 12 hits, Alan McGill led with three. Wes Price, Rhoades, Palmer and Leech had two each. Rhoades was the winning pitcher, fanning 5 over 4 innings. Price pitched the final three for the save. California finishes at 20-3. Nate Luketich had 2 of the Trojans 8 hits. 

PIAA CLASS 1-A First Round:

Elk County Catholic Crusaders 7 – JEANNETTE JAYHAWKS 4
One team traveled roughly 30 minutes, one team traveled roughly 3 hours, but in the end, the long road to Latrobe paid off for the Crusaders of Elk County Catholic after a 7-4 win over the Jeanette Jayhawks, the Class 1-A WPIAL Champions. The scoring started in the 2nd inning as both teams would trade shots. One shot literally coming off the bat of Alec Wehler of Elk County – a two-run homerun that opened a 2-0 lead. Then in the bottom half, Jeannette would send eight batters to the plate and scored two runs while only mustering one hit from Seth Howard. The teams would each cross two runs in the 3rd inning as the Crusaders got their second two-run homerun of the game as this time Dan Stauffer went yard against Jeannette starter, Blaze Tran. With the Jayhawks down 4-2, Brendt Billeck, Eric Hall, Seth Howard and Zander Malik would all reach base and two runs would score to even the game at four. The only other scoring occurred on an odd play in the top of the 5th when Nate DeCanal hit a bloop single into no-man’s-land behind first base. Stauffer scored on the hit, but a wild throw from Malik at second base rolled into the Jeanette dugout, allowing both Eric Gerber and Gabe Krause to cross home. Elk County Catholic then lead 7-4. The Jayhawks would go down without much of a fight in the 6th and 7th innings after stranding the bases loaded in the 5th. The scoring was over at that point and the #3 seed out of District 9 got the win over the #1 seed out of District 7, and will play Clarion in the quarterfinals on Thursday.


PIAA CLASS 6-A First Round:

HEMPFIELD SPARTANS 1 – Central York Panthers 0
On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, Hempfield won its 38th consecutive victory defeating Central York 1-0 in the first round of PIAA Class 5A State Playoffs. Hempfield pitcher and Notre Dame recruit, Morgan Ryan, threw 7 scoreless innings, allowing just 4 hits while striking out 7 batters. Not only did she produce on the mound but she went 2-2 including a solo-homerun that tallied the only run of the game. Central York southpaw Courtney Coppersmith threw 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 4 hits while striking out 6 Spartans. Central York infielder Natalie Craig was the most dangerous hitter for the Panthers as she went 2-3. Both teams combined for 8 hits and saw little offense. With the win, Hempfield advanced to 24-0 on the season and will play McDowell on Thursday in PIAA Class 6A Quarterfinals. McDowell recently defeated North Allegheny 12-6 in its first-round matchup.

Erie McDowell Trojans 16 – NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS 7  {MON}
Participating in the state playoffs for the third time in the last five seasons, the North Allegheny softball team dropped a 16-7 decision to McDowell on Monday afternoon in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA. Fresh off their ninth consecutive District 10 title, the Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of an RBI double by Rachel Marsden. The Tigers answered back in the second inning when Megan Smith scored on a McDowell error to even the score at 1-1. The Trojans grabbed the lead back with a four-run third inning, thanks in part to three consecutive RBI singles by Kira Hillhouse, Karlie Fachetti and Corine Buchtold. Fachetti also scored on a North Allegheny error to bring the score to 5-1, McDowell. A two run-double by Fachetti and an RBI double by Faith Renwick in the fifth inning increased the McDowell advantage to 8-1. The feisty Tigers clawed their way back into the game with a six-run top of the sixth inning. Dana Manz and Anna Pilotta delivered RBI singles, and Shannon Hamm chipped in with a fielder’s choice RBI. The big inning was highlighted by Kristen Chomos who slashed a three-run triple with two outs to trim the McDowell advantage to 8-7. For her efforts, Chomos was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. Despite the NA surge in the top of the sixth, the Trojans put the game out of reach with eight runs in the bottom of the frame. Marsden was the winning pitcher for McDowell, going the distance and allowing only one earned run. McDowell improves to 15-5 on the season and advances to the PIAA quarterfinals on Thursday. The North Allegheny season comes to a conclusion with a 14-9-1 record. Congratulations to head coach Rick Meister, the coaching staff and the entire North Allegheny softball team for a memorable 2017 season. 

PIAA CLASS 5-A First Round:

WEST ALLEGHENY INDIANS 5 – Lower Dauphin Falcons 4 
On Tuesday, June 6, 2017 West Allegheny defeated Lower Dauphin to advance to the PIAA Class 5A State Quarterfinals. The final score was 5-4 and ended with an RBI single walk-off from Indians outfielder Savannah Lewis. After traveling 3.5 hours to California, Pennsylvania, Lower Dauphin immediately got off to the wrong start. West Allegheny tallied four runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and two of those runs scored on RBI walks. Lower Dauphin would notch one run in the 3rd inning and two in the 5th inning to cut the deficit down to just one run. Leading 4-3 in the top of the 7th inning, West Allegheny blew the lead thanks to an error and the score was tied heading into the bottom of the 7th. After a hit and a couple walks, West Allegheny’s Savannah Lewis ripped a bullet down the third base line and drove in the winning run. West Allegheny improved to 22-1 on the season and will play Central Mountain on Thursday. Central Mountain is coming off an 11-1 victory over Albert Gallatin.

PIAA CLASS 2-A First Round:

Macie Kesneck singled with two out in the sixth, driving in the game’s only run as Chartiers-Houston beat Moniteau, 1-0, snapping the Warriors’ 21-game winning streak.  Moniteau lost in last year’s state finals.  Chartiers-Houston (17-4) hadn’t won a PIAA playoff game since making the semifinals three straight years, ending in 2012.  Kayla Alderson led off the sixth drawing a walk, the third allowed by Kennedy DeMatteis.  Casey Scears sacrificed Alderson to second and she went to third on a wild pitch.  Kaci Alderson worked a walk, putting runners at the corners.  One out later, Kesneck calmly pulled a pitch over the shortstop and into the grass in left, putting CHHS on the board.  The Warriors (21-1) got a two-out single and a walk in the seventh but couldn’t push across the tying run.  Kaitlyn Dittrich held Moniteau to three hits, walking two and hitting one batter, all the while keeping the Warriors off-stride with her off-speed pitches.  DeMatteis only allowed two hits, both singles and struck out 13 batters, but walked four.  Chartiers-Houston will play Frazier in the PIAA quarterfinals.  It will be the third meeting of the year between the two Section 3 foes.  Frazier won the first two, 7-2 & 4-3 

PIAA CLASS 1-A First Round:

WEST GREENE PIONEERS 10 – Shanskville-Stonycreek Vikings 0
The WPIAL Class 1-A champions from West Greene rolled to their second-straight 10-0 postseason victory by downing District 9 runner-up Shanksville-Stony Creek on Tuesday. The Pioneers improved to 23-1 on the season with the victory at North Allegheny High School. The Pioneers scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to build a 7-0 lead, before being shut out in the bottom of the fifth by the Vikings. West Greene closed out its latest victory in style when sophomore third baseman Madison Lampe and junior shortstop Madison Renner teed off on back-to-back homeruns in the seventh. Madison’s twin sister, McKenna Lampe, sparked the West Greene bats by going four-for-four in the leadoff spot with two stolen bases, three runs scored and an RBI. Madison Lampe added a two-for-three effort with a double, the two-run bomb, three RBI and two runs scored. Madison Renner drove in two on a two-for-three day, while sophomore second baseman Kaitlyn Rizor chipped in a three-for-three showing with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Madison Renner’s younger sister, freshman Jade Renner, got the win in the circle after allowing just a double, a single and a walk over six innings. She also went two-for-three at the dish with a double and two RBI. The Pioneers’ young hurler got solid defense all day and two memorable plays behind her in her first PIAA playoff game. West Greene turned a 3-6 triple play on a line drive to end the fifth inning and followed that up with a 9-3 outfield assist to start off the sixth. West Greene advances to face District 6 runner-up Claysburg-Kimmel in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. C-K upended District 9 runner-up Coudersport on Tuesday. 

DuBois Central Catholic Cardinals 18 – CARMICHAELS MIGHTY MIKES 3 
District 9 Champion DuBois Central Catholic, a state semifinalist last year, looked well on their way to another final four finish in the state as they eliminated Carmichaels in the first round Tuesday at Clarion-Limestone High School.  The game was delayed a bit as rain soaked an already wet infield and despite quite a bit of diamond dry, the field stayed slightly muddy the entire game.  Right from the start, errors became the story of the game.  Carmichaels got off to a fantastic start as Megan Walker led off the game with a double.  The game’s first error came when Kylie Sinn followed with a grounder to shortstop that was mishandled. A 1-out single by Gina Ranieri scored Walker and Morgan Faddis followed with a 2-run double to give the Mikes a 3-0 lead out of the gate. The lead was short lived as the Cardinals got back-to-back doubles by Macey Hanes and Jordy Frank to start the bottom of the first and cut the lead to 3-1.  After advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher, Frank scored on a wild pitch. Riley Assalone singled and was forced out at second on an Ashley Wruble groundout.  Wruble would’ve been caught stealing second but the ball fell out of shortstop Natalie McNett’s glove even before a tag could be attempted. Wruble then advance to third when Libby Maurer reached on an error at first base and then scored the tying run when the catcher Walker tried to pick her off at third and the throw ended up in left field.  The DuBois Central Catholic defense settled in after the first inning, allowing only one Carmichaels hit the rest of the way, but things only got worse for Carmichaels in a nightmarish second inning. The Cardinals scored 7 runs, all unearned, as Carmichaels committed 3 more errors. Big hits in the inning came from Hanes with her second double and pinch hitter Carly Semancik who drove in two with a triple. DuBois Central Catholic scored 7 runs on just 3 hits to take a 10-3 lead after 2 innings.  Carmichaels committed a total of 7 errors in the first two innings and the two teams combined for 10 errors before the third inning began. The Cardinals scored 3 more in a third inning that featured a triple by Wruble and doubles by Shay Gulvas and Allysa Bittner. More unearned runs came in a fourth inning that allowed DuBois to claim a 15-run mercy rule win.  The Mikes had a chance to get out of the fourth without allowing a run, but with the bases loaded and two out, there were back-to-back errors on groundballs to shortstop that scored two and kept the inning alive.  Back-to-back hits by Maurer and Bittner drove in three more to give the Cardinals the walk-off 18-3 win. Assalone picked up the win, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on just 4 hits.  She struck out 2 and walked one. Sinn took the loss, striking out 2 and walking 3.  She gave up 15 Cardinal hits, but 13 of the 18 runs were unearned.  DuBois Central Catholic advances to the PIAA Quarterfinals to face Commodore Perry on Thursday.

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