Twenty-thirteen has not been the best of seasons in Hickory High’s proud baseball program annals.
But with the 2nd half of the District 10 Region 2-AA campaign commencing with Thursday’s 6-2 success over Sharon, veteran Hornets’ headmaster Gary Hinkson is hopeful for a 2nd-half turnabout.
“We’ve been down ... up ... playing pretty sporadic all year. But if we can play better than when we haven’t played well, yeah, I hope we can get it turned around,” Hinkson related.
At Sharon’s Johnny Pepe Field, Hickory harvested a 144-pitch (84 strikes) complete-game performance from righthander Mark DiBattiste.
DiBattiste scattered 7 Sharon safeties — he weathered a 39-pitch 3rd inning when he surrendered the Tigers’ 2 tallies — but recovered to retire 11 of the final 15 hitters he faced, throwing only 62 pitches during the game’s final 4 frames. He helped himself by starting a 1-6-3 double-play in the 4th, quelling Sharon’s 2-on, 1-out uprising.
DiBattiste finished with 7 strikeouts while walking 5.
“He battled,” Hinkson praised. “There were a couple innings where he had a couple guys on, and a couple times when we thought, maybe, he was getting a little tired. But then he would come right back. Yeah, just a super effort.”
Without the benefit of a base hit, Hickory (5-3 region, 6-6 overall) harvested a 3-run 2nd stanza against Sharon starter Nick Carlo. After retiring the Hornets in order in the 1st, Carlo’s command deserted him, and 3 bases on balls and a hit-batsman cost Carlo 3 runs.
The ‘Stingers struck Sharon southpaw reliever Mike Songer for a pair in the 3rd. An error and base hit set up DiBattiste’s sac-fly RBI. Then after Songer started a 1-6-3 twin-killing, Brooks Pletcher plated a run on an RBI-single to right.
Justin Stefanowicz started Sharon’s 3rd as he, Josh Nichols and Carlo connected for consecutive base hits, with Carlo’s cashing in the 1st Tigers’ tally. Songer’s 1-out infield single — part of his 3-for-3 plate performance — was followed an out later with Sharon’s 2nd score as Daniel Vandeslice drew a bases-loaded walk. However DiBattiste whiffed Leo Rahn.
Sharon stranded 6 baserunners during the 1st 3 innings.
Despite striking out, Brady Leunis eventually scored in the 6th stanza when his swinging 3rd strike was mishandled. Tommy Cannon crushed reliever Stefanowicz’s 1st pitch for an RBI-single for a Stingers’ insurance run.
“It’s just seemed like we can’t get everyting going on all cylinders,” Hinkson said in summarizing the season’s 1st half. “We would have a game where we got good pitching, but couldn’t hit; we’d play good defense, and our pitching wasn’t there. We just couldn’t get everything going at the same time. (Thursday), I thought we played good defense, we had great pitching, obviously, and we had a couple hits when we needed them.”
“This is a real balanced region,” Hinkson continued. “If you look at Sharpsville (7-1, 8-2) ... then there’s a bunch of us bunched together. So I think the second half’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Cannon connected for 2 hits for Hickory, as did Pletcher. DiBattiste drilled a double, and Steve Piston produced a hit and tallied twice.
For Sharon (4-3, 7-5), in addition to Songer, Carlo cracked 2 hits, but the Tigers of taskmaster Mike Tomko took their 2nd straight setback after being blanked by Brookfield in Tuesday’s non-league game. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Sharpsville 14, Commo-dore Perry 3 — At Sheakleyville, Tyler Wansack ripped a pair of singles, belted a 3-run homer and drove in 6 runs in leading the Blue Devils (7-1, 8-2) past the Panthers.
Also for Sharpsville, Bryan Stafford had 3 singles, Taylor Lenzi and Jake Bulick both ripped a pair of singles, Tanner Morris tallied 3 singles and 2 runs scored, Jalen Mockabee notched 2 singles and an RBI, Greg Popatak singled twice and scored 3 times, and Mitch Fyffe added 2 singles and 2 RBI. Lenzi earned the win. He fanned 2, walked 1 and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings of mound work.
Matt Jones pitched into the 5th frame and took the loss for CP. Offensively, Jones, Jason Forbes and Wade Peterson had 2 singles each.
ä Grove City 5, Slippery Rock 4 (11 inn.) — At Slippery Rock, Derek Saylor walked in the top of the 11th inning, Ryan Grace sacrificed him to 2nd base and Ben Lucas doubled in the run as the Eagles (4-0, 9-2) beat the Rockets.
Matt Gordon and Doug Horner both had 2 singles and an RBI for GC and Hodge doubled. Lucas earned the win. He pitched 9 innings of relief with 6 strikeouts, 7 walks (3 intentional) and gave up no runs on 3 hits. Hodge started and pitched 1 inning, then returned in the 11th frame to earn the save.
Mitch Robinson pitched the 9th, 10th and 11th innings for SR. He walked 2 and gave up 1 hit. Offensively for Slippery Rock, Jackson Kerchis had a 2-run double and Cody Stephenson collected 2 singles.
ä The Reynolds at Rocky Grove gave was postponed to May 3.
ä Sharpsville 13, Reynolds 10 — At Transfer, Rachel Harenchar belted a solo home run and a 3-run shot in the 7th inning in leading the Blue Darlings (5-1, 7-2) past the Lady Raiders.
Also for Sharpsville, Megan Whalen, Megan Davis and Elle Marrie all had 2 singles and McKenzie Popatak and Euguna Davies both doubled and singled. Maddie Shuttleworth went the distance for Sharpsville. She struck out 3 and gave up 18 hits.
Hailey Gearhart belted a pair of homers for Reynolds, Autumn Babcock and Kristen Shearer doubled and singled and Danielle Babcock and Hughes had 2 singles each. Gearhart suffered the loss on the mound. She fanned 8 and allowed 12 hits in going the distance.
ä Wilmington 8, Sharon 3 — At Wengler Field in Sharon, Abby Sotter fired a complete-game 5-hitter with 15 strikeouts and 6 walks as the Lady Hounds (4-1, 9-2) topped the Lady Tigers.
Courtney Cohen belted a 3-run homer and singled for Wilmington, Chelsea Rogel had 4 singles, Ashley Houck ripped a trio of singles and Alanna Elliott had a 2-run double.
Gabby Gadola was tagged with the loss. She struck out 2, issued 2 free passes and gave up 14 hits.
Kayla Reardon led the Lady Tigers at the plate with a pair of singles.
ä Conneaut Area 12, Grove City 4 — At Conneautville, GC starter Cassie Feather only lasted 1ìinnings as the Lady Eagles (3-10) fell to Conneaut (5-4). Feather struck out 1 and gave up no hits, but walked 5 batters. Maddie Elberty and Belle Chiodo also saw time on the mound for GC. Micaela King had 3 hits for GC while Payton McClearn collected 2 hits.
Sara Blair went the distance for Conneaut Area. She whiffed 5, walked 4 and allowed 10 hits. D. Hazen had 3 hits for the hosts.
ä Springfield Local 6, Brookfield 1 — At Brookfield Twp. Park, the visitors were paced by the pitching of Semazh, who struck out 8, walked 2 and surrendered only 3 hits. Troggi triggered the offense with a 3-for-3 plate performance that included a 2-run home run for Springfield Local (8-5).
For Brookfield (6-3), losing pitcher Alisha Quillen KO’d 8 and scattered 6 hits while walking 3. Quillen clouted her 1st career round-tripper, also.
ä The Corry at Hickory game was postponed to noon Saturday.
ä Meadville 3, Farrell 0 — At Farrell’s E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the host Steelers suffered a 25-10, 25-13, 25-14 sweep to the 5th-ranked team in the state in Class AA.
Farrell coach Dan Dragicevic said he was missing starters Austin Pinkins, Tyrone Archie and Anthony Pegues, all of whom were attending a kinesiology seminar at Penn State University.
“We had three starters out and played five freshmen, three of whom started. It was a good learning experience, and we got to see a lot of the younger kids,” Dragicevic said.
For Farrell (2-5), Trevor Austin (5 kills); Jalen Scott (9 assists); Chase Butler (6 digs) and Alex Meyers (6 assists) were the highlights.
MASH improved to 7-0.
JV: Meadville, 16-25, 23-25, 15-12
ä Grove City 4, Kennedy Catholic 1 — At Grove City, the Eagles (5-1, 11-1) swept singles play and battled KC tough to take 1-of-2 doubles matches.
Matt Welker, Evan Lowers and Chris Adams won the singles matches for GC. Both doubles matches went 3 sets with the Eagles’ Dylan Motta-Frankie Bassani winning at No. 1 and KC’s John McGonigle-Blase Hudson taking 2nd doubles.
Singles: Welker (GC) def. Nickolo Lima, 6-0, 6-0; Lowers (GC) def. Jesse Kirila, 6-3, 6-1; Adams (GC) def. Paul Fusco, 6-0, 6-0. Doubles: Motta-Bassani (GC) def. Stephens Edge-Drew Grabigel, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; McGonigle-Hudson (KC) def. Kyle Yeakle-Andrew McCracken, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(10).
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
ä Greenville 76, Slippery Rock 74 — Nick Scovil (100-meter dash), Christian McElhaney (1600-meter run), and Devin Sulick (intermediate hurdles) posted season bests for the triumphant Trojans. Sulick was returning from a fractured scapula, coach Mark Hayes reported.
Scovil also won the 200-meter dash and lent a leg to the winning sprint-relay team, which was anchored by freshman newcomer Sergei Stainbrook, who was subbing for injured standout Luke Houpt.
Northcott notched a double-double in the discus and javelin and Sam Furrh finished 1st in the long and triple jumps for Slippery Rock.
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
GREENVILLE 76, SLIP. ROCK 74
3200 relay — Slippery Rock (Jones, Cessar, Anna, Magliocca), 8:40.4; 110 hurdles — McCall (SR), 16.8; 100 — Scovil (G), 11.4; 1600 — McElhaney (G),4:43.7; 400 — Trumball (G), 54.2; 400 relay — Greenville (Rickert, VanAken, Scovil, Stainbrook), 45.9; 300 hurdles — Sulick (G), 43.4; 800 — McElhaney (G), 2:08.1; 200 — Scovil (G), 24.2; 3200 — Bickle (SR), 10:33.3; 1600 relay — Greenville (Hecking, Riffe, Gearhart, Trumball), 3:41.9; Shot put — Weaver (G), 44-1; Discus — Northcott (SR), 123-6; Javelin — Northcott (SR), 144-7; Long jump — Furrh (SR), 20-1; Triple jump — Furrh (SR), 40-0; High jump — Kirkwood (SR), 5-10; Pole vault — Gerlach (SR), 11-6.
Twenty-thirteen has not been the best of seasons in Hickory High’s proud baseball program annals.
Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4
ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.
Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win
Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites
Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work computer before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.
Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season
Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.
Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon
An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.
Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps
ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year
LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.
Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.
WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.
Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins
ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.
Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win
ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.
Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move
ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?
WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals
The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).
Buddy Guerino Tourney winding down
Hoops action continued on Friday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary Schools.
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- Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4