The early-spring weather has been unseasonably cold, but Sharpsville High baseball team’s bats were ablaze Friday afternoon.
It was Blue Devils’ double digits for the 2nd time in as many days, as Sharpsville scored 10 sixth-inning runs en route to a 20-12 District 10 Region 2-AA rout of Hickory.
At Hermitage, the Blue Devils drilled 20 base hits, including 3 apiece from Tyler Wansack, Jake Bulick, winning pitcher Taylor Lenzi and Mitchell Fyffe. Also, Greg Popatak produced a 2-for-3, 4-runs scored, 4-RBI outing and Jalen Mockabee mustered 2 more hits, plated another pair, and tallied 3 times. Leadoff hitter Bryan Stafford strode to the plate 6 times in 7 stanzas and stroked 2 hits, also.
On an inside-out swing the lefthanded-hitting Popatak pounded a 3-run home run to the left-center field gap during the 2nd stanza.
Sharpsville was skunked 11-1 in 5 frames in its season-opener by Commodore Perry on Wednesday, but dropped a dozen runs on Lakeview on Thursday in a 12-7 win. On Friday, the Blue Devils did everything but kick a PAT following their 3rd touchdown.
“You don’t want to use the first time on the field (Wednesday) as an excuse. We didn’t hit and we didn’t field well. The team that went out there wasn’t the team that we know is gonna be out there,” admitted Sharpsville skipper Mike Sikorski. “The Lakeview game we moved, because of the weather ... we kind’ve got our momentum going with our infield (defense) and hitting, and got some confidence.
“And this is how I expected our team to hit,” Sikorski said. “We hit very well, but, again, our fielding needs to keep us in games.”
Hickory actually held a 9-8 lead through 5 frames. Lenzi balked home the tying run with 2 outs, then Matt Delmonaco drove in the go-ahead run with a single to center.
However in the 6th Sharpsville sent 14 batters to the plate, beginning with Wansack’s seemingly harmless infield single off Hickory reliever Andrew Derrick. Fyffe flared a run-scoring single down the right-field line, followed by Stafford’s bloop-single against a drawn-in infield. Subsequently, Derrick and reliever Anthony Cannone issued bases-loaded walks, and Wansack whacked a 2-run single on his 2nd trip of the inning, Bulick banged another 2-run bingle, followed by Ross Llewellyn’s run-scoring single.
The right-handed starter Lenzi allowed 11 runs on 13 hits in 5-plus innings (97 pitches, 56 for strikes). But buoyed by southpaw George Keck’s 2 innings of relief, was credited with the win for Sharpsville (1-1, 2-1).
“It’s been a rough year, getting out(side) later than normal,” Sikorski observed. “Normally, by Easter it’s 65, 70 degrees and you can get out and get your ‘reps,’ working on your defense, bunt coverages, but we really haven’t had a chance to do that yet, other than in the gym.”
For Hickory (0-5), Nate Mastrian manufactured a 4-for-5 plate performance that included a double and 2 ribbies; Brady Leunis lent 2 hits including a double and 3 RBI; Delmonaco drove in 3 more runs on 2 hits, while Steve Piston pounded a pair of hits, including a 2-run double.
Stingers’ starter Tony Stigliano lasted only 1ê innings after yielding 5 runs on 6 hits, while reliever Jason Gay — greeted, on his 2nd pitch, by Popatak’s 3-run ’dinger — permitted 3 runs on 4 hits in 2-plus innings. Derrick actually struck out the side, sandwiched by a walk, in the 5th, before tiring. Cannone — whose diving catch in center field on Fyffe’s liner saved 2 runs in the 4th — also took a turn on the hill, as did Delmonaco. — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Grove City 12, Gen. McLane 2 (6 inn.) — At Grove City’s Memorial Park, the Eagles’ season-opening homestand continued with another win.
Winning pitcher Matt Gordon garnered 9 strikeouts and permitted just 2 hits and 2 walks. Also for Grove City (3-1), Ben Lucas laced a hit and tallied 3 times, Jordan Anderson added a single and 3 ribbies,a nd Jesse Hodges had 2 hits and 3 RBI.
Losing Lancers’ hurler Hendricks had a rough 1st frame, allowing 3 runs.
Veteran mentor Pat Forese’s Eagles entertain Fort LeBoeuf today at 1 p.m.
ä Grove City 5, Sharon 0 — At Buhl Park, the visiting Eagles improved to a perfect 3-0 with the sweep of the Tigers on Friday.
Matt Welker, Evan Lowers and Chris Adams swept singles play for Grove City while the teams of Frankie Bassani and Ravi Patel and Kyle Yeakle and Lee Wishing prevailed in doubles play.
Singles: Welker (GC) def. John Benedetto, 6-1, 6-0; Lowers (GC) def. Doug McVehil, 6-1, 6-0; Adams (GC) def. Jack Evans, 6-2, 6-2. Doubles: Bassani-Patel (GC) def. Dylan Cerroni-Steven Merchant, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Yeakle-Wishing (GC) def. Skyler Villegas-Ross Ballard, 6-1, 6-2.
ä Wilmington 6, West Middlesex 2 — At New Wilmington, Abby Sotter fanned 7, walked 2 and only allowed 4 hits in a complete-game performance for the Lady Hounds (2-0).
Cassidy Marett had 2 singles and a double for Wilmington, Lexi Donati ripped a pair of doubles, Alanna Elliott had 3 singles and Courtney Cohen added 2 singles.
Jordyn Allen went the distance on the mound for the Ms. Reds. She struck out 5, issued 4 walks and gave up 12 hits.
Offensively for WM, Taylor Gilliland tripled and singled and Aly Andrusky and Megan Taylor both doubled.
ä Sharon 13, Commodore Perry 3 (5 inn.) — At Wengler Field in Sharon, Mallory Torr and Danielle Steiner both belted 2-run homers in leading the Lady Tigers (2-0) past the Lady Panthers.
Torr also singled, Kristina Jacoway tripled, singled and drove in 3 runs and Marissa Monnin added 2 singles.
Gabby Gadola went the distance for Sharon. She struck out 5 batters, issued no walks and gave up 6 hits.
Emily Sanner went the distance for CP. She had 1 strikeouts, 7 walks and surrendered 9 hits.
Offensively for the Lady Panthers, Sanner and Alexis Nagy both doubled and Devon Sernik ripped a pair of doubles.
ä Jamestown 4, Cambridge Springs 3 (10 inn.) — At Jamestown, the Lady Muskies (2-1) pulled out the win in 10 frames.
In the 10th, each team starts with a runner on second base. Nicole McElhaney sacrificed Makela Rust to third base and Jessica Arnold drove Rust in with a ground ball.
McElhaney ripped 3 singles for Jamestown, Lindsey Gurrerini and Mackenzie Adams both doubled and singled and Marissa Hetrich and Brenda Kaller had 2 singles each.
Erynn Williams went the distance for Jamestown. She whiffed 11 batters, walked 4 and gave up 12 hits.
Kayla Parkin pitched all 10 frames for Cambridge Springs. She struck out 8, issued 4 walks and allowed 14 hits. Tori Hall had 4 singles for CS.
ä Liberty 4, Brookfield 2 — At Brookfield Twp. Park, the Lady Warriors (1-1) suffered a 2-run loss to the Lady Leopards.
Ashley Custer suffered the loss. She fanned 6 and walked 1 in 3 innings of mound duty.
Ciara Rotunno had 2 hits and drove in the lone run for Brookfield and Michaela Gauding doubled.
ä Titusville 17, Grove City 2 (3 inn.) — At Titusville, Shana Grosch, Amy Clark and Kim Finley all homered as the Lady Rockets beat GC (0-3).
Grosch, who also earned the win with 2 strikeouts, 1 walk and 4 hits, also singled, Clark doubled and singled and Finley and Kate Garrett both doubled.
Maddie Elberty took the loss for GC. She walked 2 and gave up 11 runs on 9 hits in 1 inning.
Taylor Shingledecker belted a 2-run homer for the Lady Eagles and Katie Maine doubled.
The early-spring weather has been unseasonably cold, but Sharpsville High baseball team’s bats were ablaze Friday afternoon.
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
Hornets seek 3-peat Saturday vs. Girard
Bill Brest ... buffer?
Hickory High’s head football coach has broad shoulders and that’s necessary, because he’s taking on all distractions as his Hornets prepare for Saturday’s District 10 Class AA championship game.
Hickory (10-1) will attempt to hoist the D-10 trophy for a 3rd consecutive season when the Hornets journey to Girard’s backyard — Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium — to meet the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m.
Hickory rolls past Northwestern in D-10 semifinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — They say that “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You can bet the Northwestern Wildcats are feeling a bit of the latter for the Hickory Hornets!
For a third straight season Hickory eliminated the northerners from the District 10 Class AA playoffs, this time by a 52-14 score in the semifinals Saturday night at Slippery Rock University’s Thompson-Mihalik Stadium.
Greenville falls to Girard in D-10 semifinals
ERIE — District 10 was destined for a Class AA championship game between reigning 2-time titlist Hickory and Greenville.
But no one informed the Girard High football team of the plans.
“ … This is pretty cool … I’m pretty fired up about it,” admitted 4th-year Yellow Jackets’ head coach Jim Funk after Girard jolted Greenville, 16-14.
SPORTVIEW: Season fate could be decided today for Browns, Steelers
IT MAKES NO sense to say that one game determines the rest of the season. That’s why I’ll simply say: Today’s one game determines the rest of the season.
Since when did my predictions make sense anyhow?
The Cleveland Browns’ visit to Cincinnati today will go a long way to deciding if the Browns have a shot at making the playoffs — and even winning the AFC North title — or if they should start planning for the NFL draft.
GCC tops Thiel in OT to win Mercer County Cup
The Grove City and Thiel College football teams closed out their seasons on Saturday with a thrilling game at Alumni Stadium in Green-ville as Grove City posted a 50-44 overtime win in the 30th annual Mercer County Cup Game.
Quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 13-yard run for the Wolverines (3-5, 5-5) to give GCC the win in OT.
Devils beat WM; will play for 3rd straight D-10 title
Two-time defending District 10 Class A champion Sharpsville is returning to the D-10 title game for a third straight year and Coach Paul Piccirilli has a simple explanation for the team’s success:
“We believe. Kids in Sharpsville believe.”
A lot of people are believing as well after watching the Blue Devils dismantle West Middlesex, 40-3, Friday night at Hickory High Hornets Stadium.
Spence, Sailors roll past Mercer, 52-21
NEW WILMINGTON — Pat McClearn lived Lakeview High football program’s previous gridiron glory days. Unfortunately for him on Friday night he was on the business end of the current Sailors’ resurgence.
McClearn and his Mercer High Mustangs were eliminated by Lakeview from the District 10 Class A semifinals, 52-21.
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