Plum baseball continues winning ways with shutout of Gateway

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | 10:40 PM


Plum is starting to hit its stride in Section 1-5A.

The Mustangs have won five straight games after a tough section sweep at the hands of Penn-Trafford.

Plum took care of Penn Hills twice last week, scored a key nonsection victory over North Allegheny last Friday and finished off a baseball section sweep of Gateway on Tuesday at the Gateway Sports Complex in Monroeville.

The Mustangs edged the Gators in the opener Monday in Plum before scoring an 11-0 win Tuesday that ended after six innings with the mercy rule.

“I think everyone was locked in tonight, seeing their pitch and hitting it,” said center fielder Erik Streussnig, who had three of Plum’s eight hits. “The energy in the dugout was always there. Everyone was getting their opportunity to play. It was just a great game.”

Plum improved to 9-4 overall and 6-2 in the section.

“Our lineup is deep, and a lot of guys did a nice job of contributing tonight,” Plum coach Carl Vollmer said. “We came out and played clean and with energy from the jump, and that was important especially after last night, which was a back-and-forth game.

“We know that Gateway is a talented team. Their record is not indicative of the type of team they have. They have good players, and they showed it Monday. We were just in a good place tonight, and got the better of them.”

The Mustangs are right back at it Wednesday afternoon at Pine-Richland to complete a suspended game from March 20. The Rams lead 1-0 in the first inning.

Plum also has a section home-and-home series against rival Franklin Regional on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday’s opener at Plum is set for 7 p.m.

Gateway, which topped Armstrong last week for its first win of the season, fell to 1-11, 1-6 in the section. The Gators rallied from a five-run deficit to tie Monday’s opener with Plum, but they were unable to contain the Mustangs in the series finale.

“That was a tough one tonight, but I feel we are a different team than we were at the start of the season in a positive way,” Gateway coach Luke Padezan said. “Earlier in this game tonight, we were squaring up balls, but they were right at their guys in the outfield. They have come together as a team, and they’re playing better as a team. That is all I can ask.”

Plum’s Carter Sciullo and Jack Anderson drew walks off Gateway starter Jon Sanders with one out in the top of the first, but both were left stranded.

But Plum didn’t waste a scoring opportunity in the top of the second.

Sciullo delivered the big hit of the three-run frame with a two-out single to score Sean Franzi and Max Vollmer.

Dom Beyer led off the inning with a walk and stole second before scoring the Mustangs’ first run on a single from Cole Kemmerer.

Colin Watson was hit by a pitch to start the third. He stole second then scored on a single from Jake Domkowski.

Streussnig and Franzi singled to lead off the top of the fourth. That chased Sanders from the game. Sanders finished his outing giving up six earned runs and six hits while walking four.

Plum extended its lead to 8-0 in the inning off reliever Myles Beavin. Anderson delivered a run-scoring sacrifice fly to score Franzi in the midst of the four-run uprising.

The Mustangs added three runs in the top of the sixth. Pinch hitter Matthew Glasspool connected for an RBI single in the inning.

Plum’s run output was more than enough for starter Michael Tedrick, who surrendered just one hit through five innings. Grady Dunsmore singled for Gateway with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Tedrick walked the first two Gators batters to lead off the fifth, but he then struck out the next two and induced a pop out to short to end the threat.

“Mike was coming off a concussion, and he hadn’t pitched for about 10 days or so,” Vollmer said. “He was excited and ready to go, and he went out and showed that. He got into a little trouble with some walks in the fifth, but he was super clean prior to that.

“He challenges guys and was super efficient. He only threw 70 pitches. I am really happy for him. He was really good for us tonight.”

Vollmer came on to pitch the bottom of the sixth and struck out the side to end the game.

Gateway will try to bounce back Saturday afternoon when it takes on Seneca Valley at PNC Park.

The Gators then will match up with Penn-Trafford in section play on Monday and Tuesday.

“They are super excited for that game, no doubt,” Padezan said.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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