The District 10 playoffs kicked off on Tuesday for 4 area baseball teams and 5 softball squads.
In Class A softball, Reynolds edged West Middlesex, 5-4, in an 8-inning thriller while Sharpsville ousted Rocky Grove, 5-0. In Class AA, Northwestern beat Wilmington, 9-5, and Harbor Creek defeated Mercer, 4-3.
In baseball, Grove City beat Strong Vincent, 10-4 in the Class AAA quarterfinals. In Class AA, Wilmington ousted Titusville, 8-5, and the Sharpsville vs. West Middlesex game, which was scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start, never got underway until 8:30 p.m. See page B-3 for update.
Following are staff reports:
ä Reynolds 5, West Middlesex 4 (8 inn.) — At Allegheny College in Meadville, the Lady Raiders (13-6) led 3-0 in the 7th, but WM tied it at 3-all and then took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 8th, but Reynolds’ Sam Campbell ripped a 2-out, 2-run hit to left-center to lift the Lady Raiders to victory.
Campbell’s game-winning hit scored Madison Rhoads and pinch-runner Macy Greenfield (running for Maggie Ringer). Rhoads had 2 singles for Reynolds.
Paige Baker went the distance for Reynolds. She struck out 8 batters, walked 1 and gave up 6 hits.
Jordyn Allen pitched all 8 frames for coach Gene Rubeo’s Ms. Reds. She had 6 strikeouts, issued 7 walks and only allowed 4 hits.
Allen and Jade Kroesen both singled and doubled for WM.
“West Middlesex showed nothing but class,” said Reynolds coach Will Juranovich. “They grind and act professional and did a great job. It’s a shame. I feel bad for them and the way they battled, but someone had to lose and we’re glad to move on.”
Reynolds advances to play Saegertown at 5 p.m. Thursday at Allegheny College. Saegertown had a bye in the opening round.
ä Sharpsville 5, Rocky Grove 0 — At Penn State-Behrend in Erie, Maddie Shuttleworth fired a complete-game 4-hitter with 1 strikeout and 2 walks as the Blue Darlings (13-5) ousted the Lady Orioles (8-9).
Sharpsville plated 2 runs in the 4th, 1 in the 5th and 2 in the 7th for its 5 runs.
Katy Thompson and Rachel Harenchar had doubles for Sharpsville and Eugena Davies singled and tripled.
Jillian Shull went the distance for Rocky Grove. She struck out 11 batters, issued 1 walk and gave up 7 hits.
Natasha Lepley led RG at the plate with a double.
ä Northwestern 9, Wilmington 5 — At Allegheny College, the Lady Hounds (17-4) failed to return to the D-10 championship game for the 3rd straight year as the Lady Wildcats (10-8) pulled off an upset.
NW led 4-3 after 3 innings of play and 6-3 after 4 frames. The Lady Hounds cut the lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the 5th, but the Lady Wildcats plated 3 runs in the top of the 7th and held on for the win.
Kayla Osborne went the distance for Northwestern. She whiffed 5 batters, issued 2 walks and gave up 7 hits.
Abby Sotter also went the distance for Wilmington. She fanned 5, walked 2 and gave up 7 hits.
Offensively for NW, Alex Osborne doubled, Addie Griffey had 3 hits and Brittany Miniaci and Sydney Adams had 2 hits each.
For Wilmington, which committed 6 errors in the game, Alanna Elliott tripled, Ashley Houk ripped 3 singles and Courtney Cohen had 2 singles.
Northwestern advances to play Harbor Creek game at 3 p.m. Thursday at Allegheny College.
ä Harbor Creek 4, Mercer 3 — At Penn State-Behrend, the Lady M’s (12-8) gave Harbor Creek everything they had, but the Lady Huskies (17-3) plated the game-winner in the bottom of the 7th to advance to Thursday’s semifinals vs. Northwestern.
HC took a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning and cut the lead to 3-2 in the 4th. Mercer tied the game at 3-all in the top of the 7th on a 2-out RBI triple by Analise Whenry.
HC came back with a leadoff double in the bottom of the 7th by Kalie Rzodkiewicz. She was replaced by pinch-runner Danyelle Dougan. Mercer then recorded 2 outs, but Olivia Purpura hit a deep single to left field to score Dougan.
Melissa Shoemaker went the distance for Mercer. She had no strikeouts, 1 walk and gave up 13 hits.
Aubrie Angermeier had 3 singles for Mercer and Whenry had the triple.
Purpura had 3 singles and a double for HC, Rzodkiewicz ripped a double and a pair of singles, Kaitlin Pasierb tripled and singled and Dana Faipler added 2 singles.
Rzodkiewicz went the distance for HC. She struck out 15 batters, walked 1 and yielded 7 hits.
Grove City 10, Erie Strong Vincent 4 — At Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park, the Region 6 champion Eagles (15-6) used some timely hitting, some Colonel mistakes and Matt Gordon’s right arm to advance to the District 10 Class AAA semifinals.
With the win, Grove City will play Slippery Rock (12-7), a 1-0 winner over Harbor Creek, at a site and time Friday to be determined.
“A win is a win,” veteran Grove City skipper Pat Forese said. “You gotta win the first one to move on. For most of these kids, today was their first playoff experience. Matt pitched some in the playoffs a year ago and (Ryan) Grace pitched a little bit, but other than that this was their first playoff experience, so hopefully we got a little experience under our belts and we’ll be able to play better the rest of the way.”
Gordon lasted 6 innings in the 80 degree-plus weather, limiting Strong Vincent to just 3 singles (two were bunt singles) and striking out 9.
“My curveball hasn’t been working too good lately, but today I was able to power my fastball past them,” Gordon said. “I was able to locate on the outer half of the plate.”
The Eagles plated a pair of runs in each of the first two innings thanks to ESV mistakes in the field, but the Colonels answered with 3 runs in their half of the third.
Grove City increased its lead to 6-3 with a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning.
An inning later, the Eagles chased ESV starter Josh Barron with Ben Lucas singling and Gordon doubling to set up a 3-run 6th for a 9-3 lead.
Gordon aided his cause with 2 doubles, a single and 2 RBIs; Collin Lawson had a trio of singles and 3 ribbies; and Lucas singled a doubled.
“That’s what you have to do in the playoffs ... Get guys on base and find ways to get them across the plate,” Forese said. “When our top goes, we’re pretty good. Benny has been a real good hitter for us all year and Matt is capable of hitting the ball a good distance. Dustin, Jesse and Collin all did a nice job, too.”
Max Sebald, Austin Traile and Devin Magee each singled for Strong Vincent (7-9) — Information submitted by Herald sports correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
ä Wilmington 8, Titusville 5 — At SRU, the Greyhounds (12-6) coaxed 12 walks and made Titusville pay for the free passes in a 8-5 quarterfinal win.
Wilmington worked 7 of those walks in the top of the 2nd inning when it plated 6 runs for a 6-0 lead.
“We tell our guys, with how we approach hitting, is to be aggressive through the strike zone. But if it’s not there, we take the walks,” Greyhounds coach Garett Malinak said. “Our guys did a fantastic job of making their pitchers work today. Those kids over there, they have some good arms on them. Our guys did a great job of making them work and not chasing anything out of the zone.
“This is a great win for the program.”
The Greyhounds move on and will battle second-seeded Saegertown (17-2), a 6-0 winner over Franklin, Friday at a time and site to be determined in the semifinals.
Jim Pitzulo’s 2-out bases-loaded infield single was the only hit in the 2nd for the Greyhounds. Rockets second baseman Seth Mehlenbacher was able to keep the ball in the infield, allowing just 1 run to score on the play for a 1-0 Wilmington lead and the sacks remained packed.
But Davis Smith followed with a walk and Ryan Brumbaugh struck out. Instead of the inning being over and Titusville down 2-0, the ball got away and Brumbaugh reached first for a 3-0 advantage. Ryan’s younger brother Travis Brumbaugh drew a walk to make it 4-0, prompting Rockets coach Michael Hlad to replace his starter J.J. Bleday.
But reliever Zach Horn was equally errant, issuing consecutive bases-loaded walks for a 6-0 Wilmington lead.
Horn finally retired the side when he got Derek Nichols to fly out to right, leaving the bases loaded. Twelve Greyhounds came to the plate that inning.
The win was the first in the postseason for the Greyhounds since Malinak’s first season at the helm 3 years ago.
Hlad started J.J. Bleday on the mound instead of Adam Bleday, who is a Virginia recruit. The Greyhounds made that decision a painful one, working over J.J. Bleday and chasing him in the second inning.
J.J. Bleday lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing 2 hits and 6 runs — 5 earned — with 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Rockets relievers were able to limit Wilmington the rest of the way, but the damage was done in the second inning.
Nichols drove in Wilmington’s 7th run on a sacrifice fly in the 4th and Josh Fleegle followed with a run-scoring single for an 8-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Travis Brumbaugh was cruising on the hill for the Greyhounds. He allowed just 4 hits through the first 5 innings. But Titusville broke through in the 6th.
The Rockets (14-5) got to Brumbaugh for 5 runs, chasing the Wilmington starter. Brumbaugh (4-1) picked up the win, working 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits and 5 runs — all earned — with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Malinak went to Ryan Brumbaugh, who finished the job for his 4th save of the year.
Ryan Brumbaugh pitched 1 1/3 innings, surrendering 1 hit and no runs with no walks or strikeouts. — By CNHI News Service.
ä Sharpsville vs. West Middlesex — At SRU’s Jack Critchfield Park Tuesday night, the Blue Devils and Big Reds were still playing when The Herald went to press.
The game was originally scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. It didn’t even start until 8:52 p.m. That game was the last of a quadruple-header at SRU. The first 3 games ran late. See Thursday’s edition for game recap.
The District 10 playoffs kicked off on Tuesday for 4 area baseball teams and 5 softball squads.
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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