HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wildcats hand Wolves first loss of season
Homer-Center spoiled Ben Vicini’s bid for a no-hitter in the seventh before scoring a run later in the inning to hand host West Shamokin its first loss, 1-0, in a Heritage Conference baseball game Tuesday.
The win was the 300th in school history for the Wildcats, who started their program in 1989.
The Wolves have been involved in four games that were decided by just one run, three of which they won. West Shamokin nipped Blairsville, 2-1, in nine innings on Monday.
“We played two very good teams two nights in a row, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from my pitching staff,” longtime West Shamokin coach Dave Powers said. “Ben was really on and threw an outstanding game. To strike out 14 against a team like Homer-Center was pretty impressive. He was in control the whole time, with the exception of a few minutes in the seventh inning, and even then he kept the damage to a minimum.”
Corey Cavalier broke up Vicini’s no-hitter when he hit a bloop single over second baseman Tristan Doverspike’s head. Cavalier then stole second before scoring the eventual game-winning run on an RBI single to right field from Nate Davis that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
Davis then sealed the win by retiring the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Davis fanned three, walked none and allowed one hit in three innings of relief to earn the win.
Vicini walked none in a two-hitter, and Doverspike finished 2-for-3.
Both teams play on the road today. West Shamokin (5-1) travels to Northern Cambria and Homer-Center visits Penns Manor.
BLAIRSVILLE 8, UNITED 2: Brian Knupp tossed a gem, Dakota Sunday went 4-for-4, and Blairsville bounced back from a heartbreaking loss Monday by topping United in a Heritage Conference game at WyoTech Park.
The Bobcats were leading 5-2 before scoring two runs on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-2 lead. Knupp then held the Lions scoreless and hitless in the last three innings.
Knupp struck out seven and walked none in a five-hitter, Sunday singled three times, tripled and drove in two runs, and Ryan Shirley singled twice and drove in two runs.
“Brian threw a really nice game,” Blairsville coach Mark Zerfoss said. “We preach that throwing strikes is the key to winning, and he only threw 80 pitches, so that was pretty darn good.
“Dakota also had a huge day offensively. He was just seeing the ball really well.”
Both teams play on the road today. Blairsville (6-2) travels to Saltsburg and United visits Purchase Line.
MARION CENTER 6, NORTHERN CAMBRIA 3: Marion Center mustered just five hits and committed five errors, but the Stingers rode the arms of Eric Stitt and Taylor McCunn and scored the last three runs to best visiting Northern Cambria in a Heritage Conference game.
McCunn ripped an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Stingers a 4-3 lead.
Two innings later, Marion Center scored two runs on two hits and a walk to take a 6-3 lead.
McCunn struck out four, walked two and allowed one hit and no runs in the last 3 2-3 innings to earn the win in relief. McCunn also singled twice, Stitt struck out three, walked three and allowed three hits and no earned runs in 3 1-3 innings, and Dylan Johnston singled, scored twice and swiped three bases.
Scott Wagner fanned six, walked four and allowed three hits and three runs in four innings for the Colts.
Both teams play at home today. Northern Cambria plays host to West Shamokin and Marion Center welcomes Ligonier Valley.
LIGONIER VALLEY 16, PENNS MANOR 4: Ligonier Valley handcuffed host Penns Manor and posted season-highs in hits and runs to score a win in a Heritage Conference game that was shortened to six innings due to the mercy rule.
The Rams, who collected 19 hits, broke open a tied game by scoring a combined 12 unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 16-4 lead.
Hunter Jones went 4-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs to pace the Rams. J.P. Salancy went 3-for-3 with a double, Ethan Boring finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Garrett Custer singled and cracked a solo homer, and John Caldwell singled twice.
Winning pitcher Antonio Hernandez fanned four, walked three and allowed three hits and one earned run in four innings, and Aaron Sheeder struck out four, walked two and allowed two hits and no runs in two innings of relief.
For the Comets, Garrett Crowe went 3-for-4, and Austin Shirley finished 2-for-3.
Both teams play today. Ligonier Valley travels to Marion Center and Penns Manor plays host to Homer-Center.