HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Colts tighten grip on first place
Northern Cambria created some separation in the race for the Heritage Conference baseball title Monday, beating second-place Blairsville at home, 15-9, in high school baseball action.
The Colts improved to 10-3 overall and 9-1 in the conference, and Blairsville fell to 8-3 overall and in the conference with its second loss in six days.
Blairsville surrendered season highs in runs and hits, and Northern plated eight runs on eight hits, two errors and a walk in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 9-2 lead.
Then, after a five-run rally from Blairsville in the following inning, Northern Cambria’s D.J. Olenchick answered in the bottom of the fifth and cracked a grand slam home run to stretch the Colts’ lead to six runs, 13-7.
Olenchick led the Colts by going 3-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs.
“They hit the ball, there’s no doubt about that, and they absolutely got the big hits,” Blairsville coach Mark Zerfoss said. “We hit the ball, too, but we struck out 12 times and walked only once, and you just can’t do that.”
Northern Cambria amassed 16 hits and surrendered 12. Each team stranded nine runners.
Joe Olish went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored for the Colts. Scott Serafin went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs. Joey Frontino singled and doubled, and Josh Prasko singled twice.
Serafin struck out seven and walked none in four innings to get the win.
Cameron Livingston doubled, hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lead the Bobcats. John Distefano went 3-for-4, Anthony Faulk singled twice and scored three runs, Scott Thompson singled and doubled, and Ryan Shirley singled twice and drove in two runs.
Blairsville plays host to Northern Cambria on Thursday, and the Colts visit Saltsburg today.
INDIANA 11, MOUNT PLEASANT 1: Steady rain didn’t stop Indiana from outhitting Mount Pleasant 10-4 to notch its seventh win in eight games in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game that was shortened to six innings due to the mercy rule at Keystone Rehab Field.
The second-place Indians were nursing a 2-1 lead before plating six runs on five hits in the bottom of the third inning to make it an 8-1 game.
“The bats really came alive,” first-year Indiana coach Ryan Davies said. “We were able to work pitchers deep into counts, plus we got a bunch of clutch hits. This was a big win in our fight for playoff positioning.”
Sean Thompson fired a four-hitter to earn the win. He struck out eight and walked none.
Ryan Creps went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs to power Indiana. Trent Ream went 2-for-3, and Jordan Hudzicki tripled and drove in two runs.
Indiana (9-6, 7-3) plays at third-place Uniontown on Wednesday.
UNIONTOWN 5, DERRY 2: Host Uniontown mounted a big rally in the sixth inning and then held off a push from Derry in the seventh to earn a win in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game.
Uniontown broke a 1-1 tie by scoring four runs on four walks, a hit and an error in the bottom of the sixth.
Cameron Gerhard hit an RBI double in the top of the seventh to make it a 5-2 game.
But with the bases loaded and two outs, Uniontown reliever Zack Stashick struck out Connor Wege to end the game.
Wege and Zack Zimmerman each singled twice for Derry.
Derry starting pitcher Joey Kelly struck out four, walked two and allowed four hits and one run in five innings.
Derry (6-7, 4-6) plays host to Belle Vernon on Wednesday.
APOLLO-RIDGE 10, SUMMIT ACADEMY 2: Apollo-Ridge pitcher Jarrett Geiger fired a gem, and the visiting Vikings provided him with more than enough run support en route to a win in a WPIAL Section 3-AA game.
The game was shortened to five innings due to inclement weather.
Geiger tossed a two-hitter to earn the win. He struck out 10 and walked two.
“We have three junior pitchers who I’d put up against any pitcher in our section, and Jarrett’s one of them. It’s comforting to know that I’ll have them back next year,” Apollo-Ridge coach Joe Rice said.
Dylan Wingard went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored to lead the Vikings. Loren Wingard tripled and drove in three runs.
Apollo-Ridge (4-6, 4-4) travels to Freeport today.
PURCHASE LINE 8, HARMONY 0: Purchase Line jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead and then shut down host Harmony to earn its second win of the season in a non-conference game.
Zack Bartlebaugh singled twice and drove in two runs to pace the Red Dragons. Evan Ober singled and scored three runs, and Mike Cramer scored three runs.
Winning pitcher Hunter Sherry struck out seven, walked one and allowed one hit in four innings. Darren Bingaman struck out seven, walked one and allowed two hits in three innings of relief.
Dustin Kurtz tossed a four-hitter for Harmony. Kurtz struck out 10 and walked seven in a complete-game effort.
Purchase Line (2-10) plays host to Penns Manor today.
PENNS MANOR 7, MARION CENTER 5: Penns Manor wiped out a one-run deficit and scored four runs in the fourth inning to pull away from visiting Marion Center for a win in a Heritage Conference game.
The Comets plated four runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batsmen in the bottom of the fourth to nab a 7-4 lead.
Winning pitcher Gavin Grimaldi allowed just two hits and a run in three innings to earn the win. He struck out three and walked five.
Luke Kowalski singled, doubled and drove in two runs to guide the Comets. Grimaldi and Luke Popovich each went 2-for-3.
Travis Gaston singled and drove in a run for the Stingers.
Penns Manor (6-7) travels to Purchase Line today, and Marion Center (5-6) visits Northern Cambria on Wednesday.