Westmoreland County high school baseball notebook: Latrobe heads west for opener

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 12:31 PM

Tradition never graduates, as the saying goes.

That is certainly true with the Latrobe baseball program.

The Wildcats opened the season the way they usually do, by making their annual trek to Ohio for a pair of games. Only instead of playing against Upper Arlington, a team coached by Latrobe graduate Nate Campbell, the Wildcats took on Tallmadge and St. Vincent-St. Mary in a doubleheader at Akron.

Upper Arlington took a trip south to start the year.

Campbell played college baseball at Akron.

Latrobe, the returning WPIAL runner-up in Class 4A, beat Tallmadge, 4-3 in 11 innings, before falling to St. Vincent-St. Mary, 5-0.

Another Latrobe alum, Ryan Shawley, is an assistant at Kent State and helped make the games possible.

“It’s good for team bonding,” Latrobe coach Matt Basciano said. “Our guys showed a lot of heart in a total team win in 11 innings. We came out flat in the second game.”

St. Vincent-St. Mary is the alma mater of LeBron James.

Bell tolls

Yough sophomore pitcher Nate Bell adjusted early to Brownsville’s lineup, then worked over the Eagles in the Section 4-3A opener.

Bell struck out a career-high 14 as the Cougars won 9-3 to move to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in section.

Zander Aird went 3 for 4, doubled twice and homered in the win.

Life’s a beach

Hempfield had a successful road trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to start the season.

The Spartans went 2-0 and outscored their opponents 14-1.

They shut out Whitney Young (Ill.), 3-0, then clubbed Chardon (Ohio), 11-1, at the Ripken Experience.

Parker Donsen and Chase Sikorski combined on a six-hitter in the opener, and Ethan Minerva, Adam Hess and Carson Shuglie had two hits each against Chardon.

Hempfield has four college-bound players: Dylan Firmstone (Penn State), Ethan Minerva (Cal Pa.), Parker Donsen (Pitt-Johnstown) and Carson Shuglie (Seton Hill).

Hail Mighty Leopards

Adam LaCarte and Jake Gedekoh are more than championship-winning football players at Belle Vernon. The duo also is helping the Leopards baseball team win.

LaCarte went 2 for 3 with a double, and Gedekoh doubled and drove in three runs in a 10-3 win over Connellsville as Belle Vernon moved to 2-1.

Jeannette wins opener

Jeannette did something it hadn’t done since 2019. It won a season opener.

The Jayhawks edged visiting Washington, 6-5, as Nick Rattigan went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Evan Yargeau also knocked in a pair of runs.

They moved to 2-0 with a 17-0 win over Woodland Hills as Wyatt Schaeffer and Amari Thomas combined on a five-inning no-hitter.

Hot start for Shipley

Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Ian Shipley is 10 for his first 13 at-bats for a .769 average.

The shortstop had two doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and seven runs scored. Four walks add up to a .941 on-base percentage.

Extra effort

After forcing extra innings, Derry unloaded for three runs in the top of the ninth and downed Freeport, 5-2, on Wednesday.

Colin Barkley’s two-run double in the ninth jump-started the Trojans.

Top games

Several section series to keep an eye on next week include Baldwin-Norwin, Central Catholic-Hempfield, Gateway-Franklin Regional, Laurel Highlands-Latrobe, Mt. Pleasant-McGuffey and Jeannette-Greensburg Central Catholic.

The opening games of each are set for Tuesday.

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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