Talented Norwin keeps rolling, beats Upper St. Clair

Monday, April 26, 2021 | 10:04 PM

There is so much talent on the Norwin baseball but not enough starting spots to go around.

Eric Chorba didn’t start against North Allegheny on April 23, but he still managed to contribute to the victory.

Chorba got the start Monday against Upper St. Clair and helped No. 1 Norwin (10-1, 6-1) to a 7-3 victory in Section 2-6A action. The teams meet again Tuesday at Boyce Mayview Park.

For the second consecutive game, Chorba hit a solo home run. He also went 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs. His two-run single in the third inning gave the Knights a 5-0 lead.

Chorba wasn’t the only player to have a big game. Justin Turcovski had a two-run single in the second inning, which started with Chorba’s bunt single.

“Not many teams will move up runners for the bottom of the order, but we have so much depth, we’re confident in everyone,” Norwin coach Mike Liebdzinski said. “Justin got a big hit for us.

“Jacob wasn’t as sharp and we made a few mistakes behind him, but it was enough.”

It was the Knights’ seventh consecutive victory.

“I was really dialed in,” Chorba said. “I wasn’t thinking too much, just trying to hit line drives and whatever happens, happens. The bunt is in my arsenal. If that doesn’t work, I look to go gap to gap.”

Norwin starting pitcher Jacob Bazala allowed one run over the first five innings. That run was a gift because of a miscue in the outfield.

“They take advantage of every opportunity,” veteran Upper St. Clair coach Jerry Malarkey said. “Every mistake that you make, whether it’s a pitch or an error in the field, they take advantage. They’re a very good team, very solid all the way around.”

USC (6-6, 3-4) had opportunities, but Bazala was strong when he needed to be.

In the first inning, Bazala walked two batters, but picked one off. After Upper St. Clair scored a run in the fourth inning, the Panthers had second and third with one out. Bazala got Josh Brufsky to pop out to shortstop Jacob Kendro and struck out Jack Shearer.

“Jacob struggled a little bit,” Chorba said. “He fought through it for six innings, and Zach (Pothoff) came in a shut it down.”

After allowing a solo home run to Jake Casey, son of former major league player Sean Casey, the Panthers loaded the bases with one out. But relief pitcher Zach Pothoff got out of the jam allowing just one run on an infield hit that was ruled safe by the base umpire on a close play at first.

“We have to be better with runners in scoring position if we’re going to compete or make a run in the playoffs,” Malarkey said. “This is a very good section.”

Casey had a triple and home run for the Panthers.

Norwin’s other two runs were scored on wild pitches.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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