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.
Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach
Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
Hickory track coaches near finish line
While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.
SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team
WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
How’s that working out, Dan?
Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.
Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational
Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).
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.
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