MERCER COUNTY —
SLIPPERY ROCK — Monday was a pretty good day for Saegertown High School.
Just mere hours after the Lady Panthers won the District 10 Class A softball championship, the Saegertown baseball team (19-2) captured its third straight D-10 Class AA title with a convincing 10-3 victory over Sharpsville (15-6) at Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park.
“We knew going into the game that Saegertown’s a pretty good team and they’ve been a pretty good team for the past few years,” Blue Devils coach Mike Sikorski said. “I think they’ve been in the District 10 Championship the past four years. They’re a solid team, a very good team. They’re very patient at the plate and when they get their pitches, they hit them.”
Despite the lopsided final verdict, the Blue Devils attacked the Panthers early on when Bryan Stafford reached on a game-opening error and stole second before being gunned down on a near perfect throw from Saegertown centerfielder Kyle Wise to catcher Tyler Walters on Mitch Fyffe’s single. Fyffe made it to third with two away, but was stranded.
“Yeah, I probably got a little agressive early on ... I got excited,” said Sikorski. “The kid had a good arm. You notice who has good arms in the infield and in the outfield or the guy who isn’t going to put it on the cutoff or throw it up the line. We took a chance and ultimately looking at the score now, it didn’t kill us. But maybe it killed a chance for a little momentum for our guys.”
A pair of Sharpsville errors and a pair of walks greatly aided Saegertown in a 4-run first-inning explosion.
“We made some errors early on,” Sikorski said. “It was one of those things were we came out and weren’t completely ready. If you want to move in the playoffs, you have to play a tight game defensively.”
In the second, Sharpsville was making some one-out noise when Taylor Lenzi and Tanner Morris made it to second and third, but weak grounders back to Saegertown starter Matt Thompson ended the threat.
“(Saegertown) did a good job of keeping runners back and doing what they do,” Sikorski said. “They did what they needed to do. We needed to put the ball in play and make something happen. We can’t be striking out or hitting weak groundballs where our guys can’t advance. You have to advance runners if you’re going to make an out.”
By the time Sharpsville’s offense finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth off reliever Luke Basko, Saegertown was already up 8-0.
Fyffe opened the inning with a double before scoring on Greg Popatak’s triple. After Jalen Mockabee was plunked, Tyler Wansack singled home Popatak and sent Mockabee to third. Mockabee, then, scored on an attempted double steal that erased Wansack from the basepaths.
“We started to pick up a little bit and started to square on the ball,” Sikorski said. “I think our region was one of the toughest in all of District 10. All our games were tight games and it prepared us to play a team like this. I’m thankful for league being like that, because it prepares our guys from getting so far down that they can’t come back out. We’ve come back from a two-run deficit (in the past) to win the game.”
Fyffe singled twice and doubled to pace Sharpsville, while Morris also singled twice.
“We have made the playoffs in each of the past four years, but we’ve gotten upset,” Sikorski said. “Hopefully, we get back next year. “We had five sophomores (see significant playing time this year), so we have a pretty good squad coming back. We have some sophomores that will be juniors next year that will help us on the mound. We have some freshmen that got some time.
“(The 2013 Sharpsville seniors are) a great bunch of guys. None of them have ever been a problem. You tell them to run through a wall and they’ll go do it. They’re great kids. They love to play the game and play it hard.”
Notes:Saegertown will play WPIAL No. 3 seed either Quaker Valley or Beaver in the first round of the PIAA Playoffs June 3 at Jerry Uht Park. ... Sharpsville became the only team to score against Saegertown in the postseason and were just the fifth team to score more than 1 run against the Panthers. ... Lenzi was handed the loss on the mound, surrendering 8 runs on 7 hits, 4 walks. ... George Keck pitched the final inning for Sharpsville. ... Tyler Walters homered, singled twice and drove in 5 runs to lead Sharpsville. ... Matt Thompson picked up the win by tossing 5 innings of 5-hit, 1-walk, 2-strike out ball.
In other District 10 Championship action,
ä Slippery Rock 7, Warren 6 (9 innings) — At SRU, the sixth-seeded Rockets (14-7) secured the school’s first baseball district title with the thrilling victory over third seeded Warren (15-6) in the Class AAA finale.
Cody Stephenson doubled home Travis Lauster, who opened the seventh with a single and advanced to second on a Dragon error.
Slippery Rock took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Warren answered with a 6-run third inning.
From there, the Dragons managed just 3 hits off Stephenson over the next 6 innings as the Rockets scratched and clawed back into the game.
Slippery Rock scored a run in the third and 3 in the fifth to force extra innings.
Stephenson pitched all 9 innings, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Ryan Lauster tripled and drove in 2 runs for SR, while Stephenson, Joe Barnhart and Jackson Kerchis each doubled.
MERCER COUNTY —
SLIPPERY ROCK — Monday was a pretty good day for Saegertown High School.
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.
- More Sports Headlines
- Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4