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.