Trib HSSN Baseball Team of the Week for May 1, 2022

Sunday, May 1, 2022 | 10:13 PM

WPIAL defending 2A baseball champion Shenango entered last week looking up in the standings at Riverside, Laurel and Neshannock and fighting for a playoff spot, only a half-game in front of South Side for fourth place in Section 2-2A.

While the Wildcats remain in fourth place seven days later, a little spring cleaning has solidified them as a legit contender to repeat when the district playoffs start in two weeks.

Shenango swept their sectional series with Laurel, dropping the Spartans into a second-place tie with the Lancers, only a half-game ahead in the loss column of the Wildcats.

“If this team has a dominant personality trait, it is that they are mentally tough,” Shenango coach Larry Kelly said. “We have been able to come from behind all year. There is no deficit that this team cannot overcome. Their mental toughness is their staple.”

No comeback was needed Monday as the Wildcats blew open a close game by scoring five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings on their way to a 12-2 road victory.

“The key to our win on Monday was a two-run homer by Tyler Kamerer to get us on the board first,” Kelly said. “Thereafter, we worked counts, drew walks and had timely hitting with Braeden Zeigler, Braeden D’Angelo and Tino Campoli coming up with big hits.”

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning at home Tuesday, Shenango tied the score, then went ahead for good on a Kamerer two-run homer in the fifth inning as the Wildcats hung on 3-1.

“Braeden D’Angelo pitched a masterful game, going five innings, giving up only one run on three hits while striking out four and walking none,” Kelly said “Thereafter, Zach Herb came in and pitched the final two innings and shut the door, giving up one hit while striking out three.”

On Friday, the comeback kids were at it again. Trailing 5-0 to Beaver in a nonsection game, Shenango chipped away and won 9-8.

“Beaver is a really good team,” Kelly said. “We were down by a run going into the bottom of the sixth, and they brought their ace, Jack Ray, into the game. Grason Hooks led off with a single, Tyler Kamerer then hit a rocket into the right-center-field (gap) for a triple, scoring Hooks, and Braeden D’Angelo dropped a single into center field to give us the lead.”

The Wildcats capped off the week with a 25-0 section rout of Aliquippa.

Kelly feels a couple of veterans have stepped up to spark the team.

“Tino Campoli is now pitching as the No. 1 that I thought he would be. His last two outings against South Side and Laurel were excellent. In his two starts against Laurel and Southside Beaver, he struck out 17 batters in 10 innings.

“We are starting to hit the ball as I thought we would. Kamerer has been the best hitter in the WPIAL.”

Kelly said Kamerer leads the section in batting average (.586), slugging percentage (1.172), on-base percentage (.692) and home runs (three). He is tied for second in RBIs (17) and runs (16).

The defending champs will defend their crown, clinching a playoff spot with the Aliquippa victory.

Shenango will face nonsection foes New Castle and Ellwood City this week before closing the regular season with a sectional series against first-place Riverside.

“My four children graduated from Riverside, so I’m familiar with their program,” Kelly said. “They are a well-coached team. They are fundamentally sound, they play good defense and do not beat themselves. We will have to be at our best to beat them. But I believe in my guys, and we’re not ready to give up our WPIAL crown.”

2022 Trib HSSN Baseball Teams of the Week:

Week 3 – Hopewell Vikings

Week 2 – Chartiers Valley Colts

Week 1 – Beaver Bobcats


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