Host Marion Center mounted a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning and earned its third come-from-behind win of the season, a 5-4 victory over Ligonier Valley in a Heritage Conference baseball game Thursday.
After Marion Center fell behind 4-3 in the top of the eighth, Hunter Stiteler ripped an RBI double that scored Matt Shank with the game-tying run in the bottom of the inning.
Then, with two outs, Travis Gaston smacked a base hit to left field to score Stiteler with the game-winning run.
“Gaston’s been hitting the ball hard and he just ripped that pitch between third and short,” Marion Center coach Paul DeHaven said. “These guys have had three come-from-behind wins out of four. They just never quit.”
Gaston went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Stiteler finished 3-for-5, and Shank singled twice.
Ligonier Valley took a 4-3 lead in the eighth when Jordan Jones scored on Garrett Custer’s ground ball. Custer went 2-for-3 and doubled to lead the Rams.
Shank struck out one and walked one in one inning of relief to pick up the win. Starting pitcher Jeff Labryer allowed three runs in six innings.
Marion Center (4-1) travels to Penns Manor today, and Ligonier Valley visits Blairsville on Monday.
UNITED 9-2, SALTSBURG 3-12: United scored nine runs in the sixth inning to win the first game of a Heritage Conference doubleheader with visiting Saltsburg.
The Lions scored nine runs on four hits, five walks and an error in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 9-1 lead.
Jake Walsh singled twice and drove in two runs for the Lions. Beau Sheriff and Calvin White each doubled and drove in two runs.
Taylor Sheriff struck out 11, walked two and allowed six hits in a complete-game win.
Ian Satler singled and doubled for the Trojans, and Steve Richards singled twice and drove in two runs.
Richards struck out six, walked three and allowed seven hits in a complete-game effort.
In Game 2, Saltsburg built an early six-run lead in a game that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.
Richards tripled and drove in four runs for Saltsburg.
Winning pitcher Tanner Yard tossed a three-hitter. Yard, who struck out five and walked four, also doubled, scored three runs and drove in a run.
Both teams play Monday. United (2-4) travels to Northern Cambria, and Saltsburg (3-6) plays host to Penns Manor.
APOLLO-RIDGE 5, SUMMIT ACADEMY 1: Apollo-Ridge ace Austin Laird fired a two-hitter, and the Vikings provided him with more than enough run support en route to a win over visiting Summit Academy in a WPIAL Section 3-AA game.
Laird tossed a two-hitter in his second straight complete game. He finished with 11 strikeouts and two walks.
“I knew he (Laird) had a great arm,” Apollo-Ridge coach Joe Rice said. “I’m actually very blessed with three great arms and two other good arms. We just need our defense to support that now.”
Mitch Johnston singled twice and drove in three runs to lead the Vikings.
Apollo-Ridge (1-3) plays host to Freeport today.
DERRY 14, MOUNT PLEASANT 4: Derry piled up eight hits and took advantage of eight errors to coast to a win in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game at Grandview Field.
Cameron Gerhard led Derry by going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Johnny Panizzi went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Zack Zimmerman doubled and drove in three runs, Luke Ridilla singled, scored three runs and stole two bases, and John Garufi tripled and drove in two runs.
Connor Wege struck out seven and walked one in a complete-game win.
Derry (3-3, 2-2) plays host to Indiana today.