Yough baseball sweeps Southmoreland in doubleheader

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 9:31 PM

It has been a wild baseball season for the teams from Yough and Southmoreland. Weather and the coronavirus have postponed or canceled games and forced players to sit.

The teams ended section play headed in opposite directions.

The two-game series between the neighboring rivals a week ago was wiped out by poor weather, as was Monday’s scheduled doubleheader.

They were able to square off Tuesday, and Yough swept the twin bill, winning 9-3 and 17-1.

The victories moved Yough (6-6, 6-4) into second place in Section 4-3A and ended Southmoreland’s hopes of making the playoffs after a promising start. The Scotties (5-9, 3-7) started section play 3-0 before dropping the final seven games.

“We put ourselves in a better position in the section,” Yough coach Craig Spisak said. “It was nice to see. We’ve had four starters out with covid-19 quarantine at different times. As young as we were to begin the season, they were all able to deal with a lot of adversity. It was also nice to see us progress in all phases.”

Yough used a six-run sixth inning to take Game 1. The Cougars, who had four hits, were aided by nine walks and two costly errors.

Southmoreland grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Ben Zimmerman, who singled, scored on an error. Brok Potoka scored on Kory Ansell’s double. Ansell went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

Yough got a run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Vinny Martin.

The Cougars tied the score on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Odelli in the fourth inning and took a 3-2 lead on a bases-loaded walk to Sean Royer in the fifth.

“Their starter did a nice job,” Spisak said. “We battled him and made go deep into counts, which benefited us later in the game.”

The Scotties tied the score 3-3 in the sixth inning on a bases-loaded walk to Kadin Keefer.

Southmoreland began the inning with a promising start: a single by Potoka and a double from Ansell.

But Yough starter Sean Royer was able to get a strikeout and a groundout to the mound before he walked Noah Phillips for the third time to load the bases. Royer reached the pitch limit, 100, during the Phillips at-bat and was replaced by Martin.

Keefer then drew a four-pitch walk from Martin before Martin struck out Owen King to end the inning.

Southmoreland starter Anthony Govern, who allowed two hits while striking out eight and walking seven, was replaced by Keefer. Odelli greeted him with a single.

But Keefer was wild. He walked five, uncorked three wild pitches and gave up a two-run hit by Royer (three RBIs).

“We really stung the ball in the second game,” Spisak said. “We’re starting to hit the ball better. Hopefully, we’ll continue to play our best in the playoffs.”

Yough reached the WPIAL Class 4A final in 2019. There are five players from that team on this year’s squad.

In Game 2, Yough jumped on Southmoreland starter Mason Basinger for eight runs in the first inning.

“It was the hardest Mason had been hit all season,” Southmoreland coach Allen Govern said. “We had chances in the first game, and we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.

“We have to learn how to win, and we can’t walk batters. The first game took a lot out of us.”

Martin, who picked up the win in relief in Game 1, started Game 2 and worked two innings before handing the game over to James Shoman, who struck out five.

Shoman helped his own cause with two hits and three RBIs. Christian Park had two hits and two RBIs, and Jack Sampson drove in two with a triple.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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