GREENVILLE – Lakeview is back in the District 10 semifinals for the third time in four years after Monday’s 5-3 win over Cochranton at Thiel College’s Tomcat Park.
The Sailors avenged last season’s heartbreaking 6-5 loss to the Cardinals in the opening round of the District 10 playoffs.
With the win, the Region 3 co-champion Sailors (16-3) advance to Thursday’s district semifinals to face Region 4 fifth seed Saegertown (11-8) – who upset Region 4 champion Union City 7-5 – at a site and time to be determined.
“This is as far as we’ve gotten,” veteran Lakeview Coach Bill Beith said. “At the beginning of each year, we have the kids write down their individual and team goals. The team goal has been make it to the state playoffs. Before we did any talking (after the game), I wanted to stress to them that we’re one win away from reaching a lot of their team goals, which we’re hoping to do. As coaches, we want to be playing after school lets out. If you can do that, you’ve had one heckuva year. As we stand here now, we’re one win away from that!”
After both teams felt each other out over the first three innings, Cochranton (12-7) jumped on the Sailors in the top of the fourth inning with a pair of runs off of Lakeview starter Trent Milliren.
Using an ‘anything you can do I can do better’ mindset, Lakeview countered by scoring its only runs – and 3 of its 4 hits – in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-2 lead into the fourth inning.
One out after the Cardinals chose to intentionally walk Noah Burke to load the bases, Kyle Uber made the Sailors’ neighbors to the north pay with a single to score Brandon Partridge to knot the score at 2-all. Moments later, Clay Williams broke the game open with a 2-run double and Lakeview tacked on an insurance run when Zack Doddo’s bases loaded walk scored Uber.
“That’s kind of been our M-O all year long,” Beith said. “It seems like it’s always the fourth or fifth inning when we score a bunch of runs. We’ve been stressing to the kids all year to not wait for that inning, but it worked out for us today.”
After the Cardinals closed to within 5-3 with a single run in the sixth, Cochranton made things interesting in the seventh with its first two hitters reaching safely before Milliren worked his way out of his fifth jam of the afternoon for the complete-game victory.
“In the last inning, they had the deer in the headlights look to them,” Beith said. “So I went out and was like ‘You guys are winning! We’re going to get a groundball here and get out of this!’ I don’t know if it was good coaching on my part or a great pitch by Trent but that’s what happened. It turned the momentum right there.”
On the afternoon, Milliren scattered 8 hits over his 7 innings of work, while striking out 5 and walking 4.
Milliren got some help from his defense Monday afternoon. The Lakeview defense eliminated 2 Cochranton base runners in rundowns between third and home plate and Partridge and J.P. McGee hooked up with a rare 3-9 out after a Wyatt Barzak single in the fourth.
“I thought we did a good job of executing,” Beith said. “In the cases of the rundowns, that’s a situation where a team is giving you an out. We’re greedy. We want another one if we can. It’s high school baseball and if you can eliminate the mistakes like we did tonight, you can be successful. That play with J.P. and that screamer to Kyle (in the fifth) are big plays.
“We battled and that’s what you want to do at this point. We get to play another day.”
Lakeview was led by doubles from Doddo and Williams and singles from McGee and Uber. Barzak singled and doubled and Alex McKay singled twice to pace Cochranton – Information submitted by Herald Sports Correspondent Corey J. Corbin.
In other playoff action Monday:
• Sharpsville 5, Cambridge Springs 1 – The Sharpsville baseball team got some timely hits and a phenomenal pitching performance from freshman Brock Lenzi. That proved to be enough to advance to the District 10 Class 2A semifinals with Monday’s win over Cambridge Springs at Thiel College’s Tomcat Park.
“Coming into the season we had the least amount of returning at-bats of the teams in the tournament,” said Sharpsville Coach Brian Smith. “And we had the third least amount of games pitched. But now that we got it rolling, we have a punchers chance at this thing, I think.”
The Spa could only tip their hat to Lenzi.
Mixing speeds and placement, Lenzi was bale to keep Cambridge Springs (10-6) off balance for most of the game. If there was any knock against the first-year left-hander, it would be the number of balls he threw, forcing him out prematurely after he reached the 105-pitch limit. Still, even with the high pitch count, he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and six walks while striking out five.
“(Cambridge has) a great lineup right down through No. 6,” said Smith. “But Brock was able to keep them off balance all day. He had great movement on his fastball and, for a freshman, I am really proud of him.”
It may not have been his best stuff, but it was more than enough for Sharpsville’s offense.
It took a couple innings, but the bats started to awaken in the third. A leadoff single by Max Messett got the stanza started, and Jared Trontel followed with a fielder’s choice. A ground out moved Messett to second. Then Eric Lenzi made it a 1-0 game with an RBI single.
Jared Leipheimer, James Thomas and Jackson Doyle opened the fourth with three straight singles. Brock Lenzi then made it a 2-0 game with a sac fly to right.
After Cambridge scored to cut the lead in half, Sharpsville (10-10) responded. Eric Lenzi hit a one-out single. Kaleb Gorichky followed with an RBI double to make it 3-1. Jared Leipheimer then plated Kaleb Gorichky with a single to up the advantage to 4-1.
“The strength of our team all year, I think, has been our offense,” said Smith. “If we are swinging the bats and can put up 14 hits ... (Cambridge Springs’) Levi Henderson is a very good pitcher and for us to get 14 hits, if we can do that against most teams we are going to be fine.
Sharpsville added an insurance run in the sixth. Joe Bornes ripped a one-out double and came around to score on a two-out single by Gorichky.
Cambridge Springs’ lone run cane in the top of the fifth. Chase Schultz, was on first with two outs, stole second and then scored on an error.
“We ran into a kid that pitched well against us,” said Cambridge Springs Coach Brad Wheeler. “We script out every game and we got everything we wanted except for the hits.”
Cambridge Springs finished with the game with three hits. Levi Henderson, Walker Cunningham and Peyton Crays all had a single.
Gorichky led Sharpsville, going 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Doyle went 3-for-3, and Leipheimer was 2-for-3. Eric Lenzi was 2-for-4 and Bornes ripped a double.
Sharpsville faces Wilmington in Thursday’s semifinals at a site and time TBA. – By Matthew Digiacomo, CNHI News Service.
• Wilmington 5, Rocky Grove 4 (8 inn.) – At Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park, the Region 3 co-champion Hounds (16-3) beat the defending PIAA Class 2A champion Orioles in a thriller.
Rocky Grove jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning. The Hounds cut the lead to 4-1 after 2 innings of play. Wilmington kept chipping away and came back to oust Rocky Grove in 8 innings.
In the bottom of the 8th, Caelan Bender was hit by a pitch and then Cameron Marett ripped a 1-out double. Ricky Telesz hit a walk-off single to lift the Hounds to victory.
Telesz had a pair of doubles and Marett doubled and singled.
Timmy Lewis earned the mound win. He threw 5 scoreless innings of relief with 6 strikeouts and 4 walks.
• Hickory 8, Girard 1 – At Slippery Rock University, the Hornets broke the game open by plating 5 runs in the 5th inning to advance to the D-10 semifinals.
Hickory took a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. Andrew Gay and Asher Patton both had a sac fly.
Girard cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom half on an RBI groundout by Peyton Johnson – scoring Cameron Feathers, who had walked and then stole second and third base.
Hickory went up 3-1 in the 2nd frame when Connor Evans scored on an error.
The Hornets (13-4) pulled away by plating the 5 runs in the 5th to go up 8-1. Cameron Whalen, Nick Osborne and Connor Evans had RBI singles and Clay Wiesen was credited with an RBI.
Hayden Gallagher picked up the win by pitching a gem. He only gave up 2 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Hickory faces Mercyhurst Prep in the district semifinals Thursday at a site and time TBA.
• Mercyhurst Prep 5, Sharon 2 – At Ainsworth Field in Erie, the Region 5 champion Lakers ended the season for the Tigers.
Mercyhurst Prep took a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning and then went up 3-0 in the 2nd. The Lakers scored a run on a wild pitch and Zach Danias ripped a 2-out, RBI single.
Mercyhurst Prep added to its lead in the 3rd inning – taking a 4-0 lead.
Sharon cut the lead to 4-1 in the 5th inning when Jason Stanek drove in a run and made it 4-2 in the 6th when a runner scored on a wild pitch.
The Lakers tacked on another run in the 7th inning and held on for the win.
No other stats were reported to The Herald by deadline on Monday night.
Monday’s Sharon game, originally scheduled to start at 7 p.m., didn’t get underway until 8:52 p.m. It was the third game of a tripleheader at Ainsworth.
The opener, Titusville vs. Fairview, was pushed back 30 minutes so the field was ready after rainy weather and then the game went 8 innings.
The second game, Union City vs. Saegertown, was originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and didn’t start until 6:02 p.m.
Mercyhurst Prep will play Hickory in the semifinals on Thursday at a site and time TBA.
• Franklin 9, Greenville 2 – At Slippery Rock University’s Jack Critchfield Park, the Region 2 champion Knights rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Trojans.
Greenville took a 2-0 lead in the 5th inning on a 2-run, 2-out double by Jon King.
Franklin scored 5 runs in the top of the 6th and 4 more in the 7th to advance to the semifinals.
No other stats were reported to The Herald.
Franklin will play Titusville in the semifinals Thursday. Titusville beat Fairview, 9-8, in 8 innings Monday.
• Kennedy Catholic 10, Rocky Grove 2 – At Allegheny College in Meadville, the Lady Golden Eagles advanced to the district semifinals with the win over Rocky Grove Monday.
Winning pitcher Grace Schultz struck out 13 batters, including 3 in the 1st inning to get out of a bases-loaded jam.
Addie Flanders tripled, singled and drove in a pair of runs to lead KC at the plate. Also, Kyleigh Wansack doubled, Alison Schultz hit a single and drove in a run and Grace Schultz singled, drove in a run and scored 3 times.
Losing pitcher Kennedi Winslow had 2 singles for Rocky Grove.
Kennedy Catholic plays Commodore Perry in the semifinals Thursday at a site and time TBA. The other Class 1A semifinal game is West Middlesex against Cambridge Springs.
• Monday’s Hickory vs. Warren game at Penn State Behrend was moved to 1 p.m. today due to poor field conditions from the rain.
Monday’s Conneaut Area vs. Harbor Creek game at Behrend was also postponed until today. That game starts at 11 a.m.
The Hickory-Warren winner will play the winner of CASH-Harbor Creek in the semifinals on Thursday.
• Franklin beat Gen. McLane, 5-4, on Monday in the quarterfinals at at Allegheny College in Meadville. Franklin advances to Thursday’s semifinals to play Region 6 champion Grove City.