Scholastic Notebook – 05/09/2014

Friday, May 9, 2014 | 3:41 PM

With every zero that he puts on the scoreboard, Blackhawk senior pitcher Brendan McKay continues to climb the national list for the longest scoreless streak? That naturally brings up two questions:

Is McKay anywhere near the national record and does he have a chance to break it before he graduates?

The answers are yes and yes.

McKay beat Montour, 3-0, earlier this week to stretch his scoreless streak to 58 innings, dating back to last season. That is the fourth-longest streak in U.S. high school history, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the governing body of high school sports in the country.

McKay is only one scoreless inning away from No. 3 on the list. The national record is 80 scoreless innings, set by Joey Porter of Adams High School in South Natchez, Miss., in 1973. McKay has a chance at the streak if Blackhawk makes a run to the WPIAL championship and then moves on to the PIAA playoffs.

Blackhawk will begin play in the WPIAL playoffs with a first-round game next week. It would take four victories for Blackhawk to win the WPIAL title. The way the WPIAL sets up the playoff schedule, McKay can pitch in three of those games. Three consecutive shutouts would put him at 79 scoreless innings.

If the streak is still alive, McKay would then have a shot at the national record in the PIAA playoffs.

If you don’t think what McKay is doing is remarkable, consider that this is the longest streak in the country in at least 20 years. Besides the national record streak set in 1973, the second-longest streak is 72 1/3 innings by Mike Halperin of Naples, Fla., in 1991. Third on the list is 59 innings by Jerry Jordan of Avenal, Calif., in 1970.

California Dreaming

The California Trojans are 17-0 and the only undefeated team in the WPIAL baseball playoffs. A few statistics really stand out for the team.

California has a .380 batting average, which is very good. But as a team, the Trojans have a .499 on-base percentage. That is tremendous.

The pitching also has been excellent. The Trojans’ team ERA is 1.30 in 107 innings pitched.

It’s Been a While

It has been quite a spring at Uniontown High School.

The Raiders’ baseball and softball teams have both qualified for the WPIAL playoffs. It seems no one is quite sure the last time that happened at the Fayette County school.

This is the first time Uniontown has been in the baseball playoffs since 2002. The softball team’s playoff drought has been even longer. The Raiders’ softball program has been awful for more than a decade. The WPIAL has softball playoff brackets back to 1998. The Raiders hadn’t qualified at least since then.

Steve Forsythe turned around the Raiders’ softball team in his first season as coach.

It’s Been a While II

The Apollo-Ridge baseball team qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1993. The Vikings finished as the No. 3 team in Section 3 and take a 7-7 record into the playoffs.

Oberdorf Power

There has been a power surge at Greensburg-Salem this spring. It is being provided by Claire Oberdorf.

Oberdorf is a softball player for the Lions who has hit 10 home runs. It is a school record. She has helped Greensburg-Salem to a 13-1 record and the WPIAL Class AAA Section 4 title.

Jenkins to Penn State

One of the top football players in the WPIAL class of 2015 made his college decision this week and Penn State was the winner.

Sterling Jenkins, a junior at Baldwin High School, announced Tuesday that he had made a verbal commitment to Penn State. He had numerous scholarship offers but had narrowed his choices to Penn State and Ohio State.

It is certainly a “big” get for Penn State. Jenkins is 6 feet 8, 315 pounds. ranks him the No. 34 player overall in the country for the class of 2015 and the No. 6 offensive tackle.

Jenkins was extremely interested in Penn State when Bill O’Brien was the coach and he seemed to like the Nittany Lions even more when James Franklin took over, coming from Vanderbilt.

“When I first saw he got the Penn State job, I didn’t know who he was,” Jenkins said. “I had never watched Vanderbilt before. Vanderbilt had offered me a scholarship, but I wasn’t interested. I really was like, ‘I want to meet this guy.’ Then a week or so after he was hired [at Penn State], he came to our school. He was the first head coach to come there. I thought it was pretty cool that the past staff and this staff both had a relationship with me.”

Kaufman to Moon

There was a rather noteworthy change in the WPIAL boys basketball coaching ranks this week.

Adam Kaufman resigned as Montour’s coach to become the new coach at Moon. Kaufman takes over for Jeff Ackerman, whose contract wasn’t renewed despite winning three WPIAL titles and one PIAA championship in 13 seasons as coach.

Kaufman, age 34, brings a lot of success with him. A 1997 Montour graduate, Kaufman had a 111-51 record in six seasons at Montour and was 88-27 the past four seasons. He won two WPIAL titles and made it to the PIAA Class AAA title game twice.

With the new WPIAL section alignment for next season, and with Kaufman coming to Moon, that means Section 4 of WPIAL Class AAAA will have five coaches who have won WPIAL titles. They are Kaufman, Chartiers Valley’s Tim McConnell, Upper St. Clair’s Danny Holzer, Mt. Lebanon’s Joe David and Peters Township’s Gary Goga.

Moon has missed the WPIAL playoffs the past three seasons.

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s appealing to me,” said Kaufman, who lives in the Moon school district. “I get to go against Coach McConnell again, which is great. Holzer, Joe David, Gary Goga, those guys in that section are the best in my opinion. I’m not saying other coaches are not as good as them, but these guys have been proving themselves. I’m anxious to see where I measure up. I had a lot of success at the Triple-A level, and now I’ll see it goes against these guys.”

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