Seneca Valley takes advantage of big inning to cruise past Kiski Area in WPBL playoffs

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Monday, July 27, 2020 | 8:24 PM


Sometimes all it takes is just one inning, and on Monday in the first round of the Western Pennsylvania Summer Baseball League playoffs, Seneca Valley took full advantage of that.

In the second inning, the Warriors capitalized on three Kiski Area errors, sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs to take a lead that they never relinquished in a 12-2 five-inning victory over the Golden Cavs.

“We didn’t hit the ball great through the first four innings, but we took advantage of some mistakes and then we came out the last inning and got a couple of really big hits,” Seneca Valley manager Dan Blucher said. “So it feels really good.”

After jumping out to their commanding 9-0 lead, the Warriors tallied one in the fourth inning and then scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure the 10-run-rule victory. Seneca Valley will play Belle Vernon on Wednesday.

While the Warriors dominated for most of the game, the Golden Cavs were hampered by a slim roster. Billy Perroz, who normally plays outfield, was slotted in to play shortstop, and a few other players played out of position as well.

“We came in here with no shortstop because our guys aren’t here,” Albert said. “So it was kind of like Little League again. Billy was playing shortstop because he’s the best player on the team, and that doesn’t work at this level. We had outfielders playing outfield when they don’t, and we have Billy playing shortstop when he doesn’t, and that’s a good baseball team (Seneca Valley) who hits it and plays good fundamental baseball.”

The Golden Cavs did get to Seneca Valley pitcher Conner Carney for two runs in the bottom of the third inning, but the Kiski Area bats were limited to just seven hits by the combination of Carney and Carter Beneigh.

In the first two innings, Beneigh allowed just two hits and struck out one batter while on a 25-pitch limit. Then, Carney finished off the game in the final three innings. He allowed five hits and struck out three.

Other than the two runs that scored in the third, Carney didn’t face much pressure other than a Logan McGarry triple in the fourth inning. The rising senior bounced back to strike out Carson Craig then got Mike Shoemaker to fly out to center field to end the inning.

“Carney, he’s been solid all year for us, both of them have, so it was nice to have them both available because it’s going to be a crazy week with kids missing,” Blucher said.

The Warriors will have a busy rest of the week with their next game being played Wednesday.

The 24-team single-elimination tournament will hold its semifinals Aug. 1 at Boyce-Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair, and the championship will be Aug. 3 at Wild Things Park in Washington.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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