West Allegheny Stuns All in Winning Class AAA Baseball Championship

Friday, May 30, 2014 | 12:05 AM

The West Allegheny Indians claimed their fourth WPIAL baseball championship by knocking off the Blackhawk Cougars 5-3 in eight innings on Thursday night at Consol Energy Park. Mike Cummings singled home Tyler Amedure with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.

The Indians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third, ending the scoreless innings streak for Blackhawk senior pitcher Brendan McKay. The streak ended at 71.2 innings, good for third in the National Federation of High School record book. Amedure doubled to the left center field gap to plate Colin Claus. It was the first run allowed by McKay since April 25th, 2013 against Central Valley. The Indians weren’t done, as Cummings brought home Amedure with a single.

West Allegheny would then steal a run in the fourth. After Jake Cunningham would beat out an infield single and, on the same play, Brandon Pouch would not stop from second base, beating the throw and putting the Indians up by three.

Blackhawk answered and tied the game in the bottom of the inning, Claus, who struck out six batters over the first three innings, would give up four straight hits. Chase Migliore led off with a single and McKay singled and went to second on a throw. Migliore would then come home on a wild pitch. Joe Campagna then tripled past a diving Cummings in center and would later score on a Cody Bain single. West Allegheny Head coach Bryan Cornell pulled Claus in favor of Amedure, who retired three straight batters to end the inning.

After McKay gave up the three runs, he would settle down, retiring the next eleven batters and taking the 3-3 tie into the seventh. McKay fanned ten batters along the way, raising his season total to 111 strikeouts.

Blackhawk had opportunities to take the lead in the sixth and seventh innings, getting the lead off man on base in both frames. McKay singled in the sixth. Thomas Piccone entered as the courtesy runner and was caught stealing. Bain walked with two outs, but Jake Emge was called out on strikes. Dante Parente singled in the seventh, but Duncan Miklos bunted too hard and Amedure was able to get Parente out at second base. Hunter Alexander then pinch hit and struck out and Rich Rowe also went down swinging to send the game to extra innings.

With one out in the eighth inning, Amedure would double and be brought home by Cummings. West Allegheny added another run on an Alec Palmer grounder past the mound. McKay was able to field the ball and get the out at first, but again Cornell did not stop the runner at third, as Cummings scored for the two run lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Amedure got Migliore to ground out, McKay to strike out and Campagna to ground out to short to end the game. The junior reliever had his longest outing of the season, going five innings and giving up just one hit. Amedure’s record improves to 3-1. He had only pitched 19 innings in ten appearances this season, but struck out six batters in the win. Oddly enough, Claus was warming up late in the game and would have came back at pitcher if the game had gone on, according to Cornell. He also had a great day at the plate, going 2 for 4. Cummings added had two of the Indians’ eight hits.

West Allegheny is now 19-4. The Indians face District 9 champion Punxsutawney on Monday in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs at Kelly Automotive Park in Butler.

Blackhawk falls to 14-3. The Cougars will take on Somerset on Monday. Blackhawk was held to just five hits in the game. McKay falls to 7-1 this season and 29-2 in his impressive career.

West Allegheny Indians 0 – 0 – 2 – 1 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 2  = 5 – 8 – 0

Blackhawk Cougars  0 – 0 – 0 – 3 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0  = 3 – 5 – 0 

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