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.
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Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
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Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
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Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
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The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
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The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
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Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
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Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
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It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
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