WPIAL Class AAAA and Class A Baseball Consolation Recaps

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 3:24 PM

History was made Wednesday evening at Ross Memorial Field as the WPIAL held its very first Class AAAA baseball consolation game. With the demise of the Pittsburgh City League in baseball, the PIAA added a third team from District 7 Class AAAA. Here are recaps from both the Quad-A and the Single-A consolation games played on Wednesday at the Washington & Jefferson College Sports Complex.

WPIAL Class AAAA Consolation:  Hempfield Spartans 9 – Pine-Richland Rams 2
Answering the bell was the key to the AAAA WPIAL consolation game Wednesday night.  Hempfield was able to get a 2-0 lead in the first inning Luke Fox and Nathan Mori both scored on an error by Pine-Richland short stop Daane Berezo.  From there on the Spartans led the Rams through the game.  Pine-Richland while down two capitalized on some control problems by pitcher Zach Martinelli when he beaned David Laylock in the fifth then gave up his first hit of the game to Danne Berezo and a walk to Shea Sullivan loaded the bases full of Rams.  Then Martinelli’s pitching counterpart Jamie Switalski came to the plate and drew a walk of his own scoring Laylock from third.  Head coach Tim Buzzard then pulled Martinelli for Nathan Mori who finished out the inning and the game on the mound for Hempfield.  After giving up the one run in the top of the fifth responded in the bottom when Joey DeFloria singled and first basemen Greg Martin came to the plate and belted a home run to right center field that was estimated to be about 385 feet off of Switalski.  Mori in the sixth was able to get two quick outs then walked Joey Professori and courtesy runner Morgan Means came around on a David Laylock single.  Going into the bottom of the sixth it was 4-2 in favor of Hempfield and that is when the flood gates opened.  The Spartans batted around plating five runners before relief pitcher Marcus Colella could record an out.  In the top of the seventh Mori allowed one runner to reach on a walk but was able to shut the door from there.  Martinelli recorded the win after pitching 4.2 giving up one run on one hit walking seven and fanning four Ram batters.  Losing pitcher Jamie Switalski went five full innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 free passes and fanning 4 Spartans.  Hempfield will go on to play North Allegheny in a rematch of a WPIAL Semifinals game in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs on Monday at Matulevic Field in Shaler.

WPIAL Class A Consolation:  California Trojans 10 – Serra Catholic Eagles 6
California, the sixth seeded team in Class A, banged out nine hits and benefitted from four Serra Catholic errors to nab the final berth when the PIAA baseball playoffs commence next week. The Trojans wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. After a one-out walk to Mike Luketich, Jacob Columbus followed with an RBI triple to plate Luketich. Columbus then scored on a groundout off the bat of Aaron Previsky. Previsky finished the game with a pair of RBIs. The Eagles would tie the score in the top of the 2nd inning. Dylan Kugler would lead off the inning with a single. One out later, Dan Popovich would single Kugler to 2B. David Glumac would then walk to load the bases and, with two outs, Zach Quattrone would deliver a game-tying 2- run single. California would take a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the stanza on RBI singles by Josh Luko and Luketich.. In the inning, Serra Catholic committed two errors which made the Trojan runs unearned. Cal would add to their lead with two more runs in the 4th inning courtesy of an RBI triple from Robbie DeFranco and a perfectly executed suicide squeeze by Luko which gave the Trojans a 6-3 lead. Cal would score another run in the 5th inning and three more in the 6th inning to clinch the win although Serra Catholic would make it interesting by scoring three runs in the top of the 7th inning. The game-tying run was actually in the on-deck circle when the final out was recorded. Cal starter Brian Fisher pitched six innings in getting the win. Fisher was effective, giving up 3 runs (2 were earned) and striking out four Eagles. With the win, California (18-5) will play the District 9 champion in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The loss leaves Serra Catholic with an empty feeling. Their season ends with a record of 18-3.

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