Westmoreland County baseball notebook: Franklin Regional off to hot start in Section 1

Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 2:54 PM

Only one Westmoreland County baseball team is situated among the top teams in the Trib top-5 rankings.

Franklin Regional remains third in this week’s Class 5A rankings.

The Panthers (7-2, 3-1 Section 1) have only one section loss, a 3-1 setback against Gateway. They return to section play Monday against Fox Chapel.

First wins

Jeannette won for the first time this season, turning back Brentwood, 5-2.

The victory broke a six-game skid.

Brayden Luttner and Gavin Holemeyer went a combined 6 for 6, with each delivering a pair of doubles and one RBI for the Jayhawks (1-6, 1-3 Section 3-2A).

Southmoreland followed suit, defeating Brownsville, 6-1, to end a 10-game losing streak. Cole Teets had a double and three RBIs, and Ty Keffer had two hits and drove in a pair for the Scotties (1-7, 1-5 Section4- 3A).

Wildcats lurking

Quietly, Latrobe is making an early push for the top spot in Section 2-4A.

The Wildcats (5-3, 3-1) are bringing out the Barbie car and championship belt — their winning mementos — with some regularity.

A sweep of Laurel Highlands, by scores of 13-5 and 4-2, and a split against Ringgold (lost 3-2, won 6-0) had them tied with Uniontown (3-3, 3-1) for first place.

Golden Lions streaking

Greensburg Salem made it seven straight wins, four in a row with double-digit runs, as it swept Mt. Pleasant by identical 10-5 scores.

The Golden Lions moved to 8-1, for the best record in the county by midweek.

Ram tough

With five straight wins after a 1-2 start, Ligonier Valley moved into a first-place tie with Riverview in Section 3-2A.

The Rams (6-2, 5-1) are averaging 9.4 runs during their winning streak.

Senior Haden Sierocky, a Seton Hill commit, is hitting .607, with 17 hits, four doubles, three triples and 14 RBIs. His on-base percentage is .667, his slugging .964, and his OPS, 1.631.

Sport No. 3

Greensburg Central Catholic junior Tyree Turner had career seasons in football and basketball.

Now, he is trying to make the baseball team a winner, too.

Turner has played in the outfield, but has been seeing time at third base for the Centurions.

“Basketball is my favorite of the three (sports),” he said. “Football is the hardest, and the most work. Baseball is more loose and fun. There isn’t as much pressure on you.”

Heavy hitter

Hempfield junior Carson Shuglie started the season slow, but kept revisiting the batting cage for more reps.

His practice is paying off. Shuglie hit grand slams in consecutive games and had three home runs and 10 RBIs over a two-game stretch, in wins of 7-3 over Central Catholic and 8-6 over Baldwin.

Shuglie played varsity since he was a freshman. The Spartans made the WPIAL championship game in his first season.

“I am just trusting my approach,” Shuglie said. “We have had some great players here that I have looked up to. I am following what they did and how they worked.”

Tight race

Section 4-4A might be headed for a logjam.

It’s very early in section play, but all six teams were tied for first heading into Tuesday’s games.

Kiski Area, Indiana, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch and North Catholic were all 1-1.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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