Westmoreland H.S. baseball capsules for games of Monday, May 20, 2019
By: Jerin Steele
Sunday, May 19, 2019 | 9:00 PM
WPIAL baseball playoffs
1-Greensburg Salem (14-2) vs. 9-New Castle (9-9)
4 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Blackhawk (14-4) and 12-Mt. Pleasant (10-8) in semifinals
Coaches: Bill Wisniewski, Greensburg Salem; Bill Cook, New Castle
Players to watch: Matt Wicker, Sr., P, Greensburg Salem; Rocco Bernadina, So., P, New Castle
Extra bases: Greensburg Salem earned a bye after winning the Section 1 title, its first section championship since 2012. Wicker, a Pitt-Johnstown recruit, carries a 2.42 ERA and has 44 strikeouts to 13 walks in 33 1/3 innings. He also leads the team with eight doubles and has a .426 batting average. Jack Oberforf, a Seton Hill commit, has a .429 batting average, and Nate Sweeney is hitting .457. … New Castle rolled to an 8-1 win over Elizabeth Forward in the first round to earn a playoff win for the second consecutive years. Bernadina threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the win, and Nic Morell had three hits and two RBIs.
12-Mt. Pleasant (10-8) vs. 4-Blackhawk (14-4)
2 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 1-Greensburg Salem (14-2) and 9-New Castle (9-9) in semifinals
Coaches: Chris Firmstone, Mt. Pleasant; Bob Amalia, Blackhawk
Players to watch: Mike Secosky, Sr., OF, Mt. Pleasant; Marco Borello, Jr., P, Blackhawk
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant upset defending PIAA champion Ringgold, 8-0, in the first round. Mike Secosky singled, double and drove in three runs, Kyle Jones went 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and Joe Shrum pitched five shutout innings. The Vikings were runners-up in 3A in 2017. … Blackhawk blanked Knoch, 4-0, in the first round. Borello pitched a complete game to improve to 6-3 on the season. Blackhawk, which is in the postseason for the 18th consecutive season, will look to avoid a similar fate to last year when they were upset by Greensburg Salem in the quarterfinals.
2-Yough (13-5) vs. 7-South Park (14-7)
4 p.m. at West Mifflin
Winner plays: Winner of 6-Beaver (11-7) and 14-Highlands (11-8) in semifinals
Coaches: Craig Spisak, Yough; Steve Bucci, South Park
Players to watch: Jarett Bach, Sr. P, Yough; Brenden Gray, Jr., P/SS, South Park
Extra bases: Cody Ulander scored on a two-base error in the bottom of the seventh, and Yough survived and advanced with a 4-3 win over Central Valley in the first round. Bach, a Pitt recruit, allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven. The Cougars are 7-3 in their last 10 games. … Gray delivered a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to propel South Park to a 2-1 win over Quaker Valley in the first round. He also was the winning pitcher. Senior pitcher/third baseman Kevin Vaupel is a Seton Hill recruit. The Eagles finished third in Section 3 but went 6-1 in the second half of section play.
5-Greensburg Central Catholic (10-8) vs. 4-Quigley Catholic (12-6)
4 p.m. at Kiski Area
Winner plays: Winner of 1-California (15-1) and 8-Eden Christian (11-8) in semifinals
Coaches: Dennis Reist, Greensburg Central Catholic; Kip Richeal, Quigley Catholic
Players to watch: Joel LoNigro, Sr., P/OF, Greensburg Central Catholic; Alex Tomsic, So., P, Quigley Catholic
Extra bases: Zach Kuvinka delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, and Greensburg Central Catholic went on to win 4-3 over Rochester in the first round. LoNigro pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run. Tom Voelker, Alex Miller and Paul Rice had two hits apiece. The Centurions will try to reach the semifinals for the fifth straight year. … Tomsic struck out 12 and pitched Quigley Catholic to what is believed to be its first playoff victory, in a 2-0 win over Leechburg in the first round. Tomsic struck out the first seven he faced and had an RBI double. He has a 1.44 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. L.J. Evans also had an RBI double in the win.
5-Ligonier Valley (14-3) vs. 4-Mt. Union (18-3)
4 p.m. at Mt. Union
Winner plays: 1-Tyrone (17-3) and 8-Penns Valley (8-10) in semifinals
Coaches: Brett Marabito, Ligonier Valley; Tim Hicks, Mt. Union
Players to watch: Sullivan Schueltz, Sr., SS/P, Ligonier Valley; Dylan Gearhart, Sr., P/INF, Mt. Union
Extra bases: Ligonier Valley enters the District 6 playoffs after winning its first Heritage Conference title since 2012 with a 4-2 win over West Shamokin on Wednesday. Schueltz leads the team with a .389 batting average and has 22 steals for a team that has swiped 111 bases this season in 112 attempts. The Rams have scored more than 10 runs eight times this year. … Mt. Union earned a 9-0 win in the Southern Huntington on Thursday. Gearhart, a Binghamton recruit, has a .447 batting average and three homers. He’s 6-2 on the mound with a .031 ERA and 60 strikeouts to six walks in 45 1/3 innings. The Trojans have won 16 District 6 titles.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer