Blairsville landed the last blow in a back-and-forth affair, plating a run in the bottom of the seventh inning off a wild pitch to nip Saltsburg, 7-6, in a Heritage Conference baseball game Monday at WyoTech Park.
With one out and the bases loaded, Saltsburg reliever Lucas Mowery fired a pitch in the dirt past catcher Bryce Zimmerman, allowing Blairsville’s Reed Ratkus to score from third base.
“Reed scorched a single to left-center field to lead off the seventh. That really gave us some momentum and changed the whole atmosphere in the dugout,” Blairsville coach Mark Zerfoss said. “The four batters that came up after him all had a lot of energy in the box. It definitely set the tone for us.”
Ratkus, who struck out one and walked none in one inning of relief to get the win, finished 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Bobby Thompson singled and scored three times, Scott Thompson tripled, scored a run and drove in two runs, and John Distefano singled and drove in two runs.
Scott Thompson struck out six and walked three in 6 1-3 innings.
Adam Deruelle led Saltsburg by going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Tanner Yard went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Mitchel Yard tripled and drove in two runs, and Brody Bieda doubled, scored a run and drove in two runs.
Saltsburg’s Steve Richards struck out four and walked three in six innings.
Both teams play Wednesday. Blairsville (3-1) travels to United, and Saltsburg plays host to Northern Cambria.
INDIANA 5, YOUGH 4: Sean Thompson struck out 11 in a complete-game win as Indiana defeated Yough in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game in Herminie.
Thompson also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
“Sean pitched a good game, considering he was on four days’ rest,” Indiana coach Rob Stossel said. “We really needed him to step up, and he did. He was efficient with his pitches.”
Zach Schultz finished 2-for-3 with a double and scored twice, and Ryan Creps stroked a pair of hits. Cole Shaffer also scored two runs.
Yough fell to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the section.
Indiana (5-2, 2-1) plays host to Mount Pleasant on Wednesday.
NORTHERN CAMBRIA 9, MARION CENTER 8: Host Northern Cambria scored six runs over the fifth and sixth innings, capping its comeback with two bases-loaded walks to tie the score and pull ahead in a Heritage Conference game.
Josh Bonatesta smacked a two-run triple in the first inning to ignite the Colts’ offense, and Josh Prasko clubbed a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Trailing, 8-7, Northern Cambria loaded the bases in the sixth, and Joe Frontino and John Hornick drew walks to push in the tying and winning runs.
Prasko and Adam Polites finished with two hits each. Prasko scored three runs, and Polites and Bonatesta scored two each. Bonatesta, Hornick and Scott Serafin each had two RBIs.
Austin Tibbott earned the win in relief, striking out one and walking one in 2 2-3 innings.
Matt Shank took the loss, striking out one and walking six in two innings.
Shank, Hunter Stiteler and C.J. Stiles, the top three batters in the Stingers’ lineup, each went 2-for-4. Stiteler, Stiles and Jake Bothell each doubled. Shank, Stiles and Bothell drove in two runs apiece.
Northern Cambria (2-2, 2-2) plays at Saltsburg on Wednesday, and Marion Center (1-2) visits Penns Manor on Thursday.
UNITED 5, PURCHASE LINE 1: United pounded out 10 hits and gave pitchers Taylor Sheriff and Beau Sheriff more than enough run support to earn a win over host Purchase Line in a Heritage Conference game.
Taylor Sheriff struck out 13, walked two and allowed three hits in five innings to get the win. Beau Sheriff yielded three hits in two innings of relief.
“Our guys stood and watched them a lot,” Purchase Line coach Terry Neely said. “I’m not even sure what kind of stuff either guy had because most of their strikeouts came with our guys looking. We just weren’t swinging the bats.”
Weylon McGeary paced United with a single, a triple and a run scored. Bailey Skavang singled, doubled and scored a run.
Darren Bingaman singled three times to lead Purchase Line.
Both teams play Wednesday. Purchase Line (0-3) plays host to Penns Manor, and United (1-3) welcomes Blairsville.
FORD CITY 12, APOLLO-RIDGE 6: Apollo-Ridge gave up seven runs over the final two innings and dropped a WPIAL Section 3-AA game in Spring Church.
Joe Long, Mike Percic and Delbert Brown each hit doubles for the Vikings, who finished with 12 hits.
Apollo-Ridge led 5-0 after 3ﾽ innings, but Ford City got runs on the board in each of the final four innings, including three in the sixth to pull ahead and four in the seventh to pad the lead.
Percic took the loss for the Vikings.
Apollo-Ridge (3-6, 0-2) visits Summit Academy on Wednesday.
DERRY 12, MOUNT PLEASANT 8: Derry plated six runs in the last two innings to stave off a late surge from Mount Pleasant for a win in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game.
Robby Hebenthal powered Derry by going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Zack Zimmerman singled, doubled and scored two runs, Luke Ridilla doubled, scored a run and drove in two runs, and Johnny Panizzi singled, scored a run and drove in two runs. Lucas Maloy doubled, scored a run and drove in two runs, Kyle Holmes singled, stole two bases and scored two runs, and Cameron Gerhard scored two runs.
Connor Wege struck out four, walked none and allowed five hits in five innings to pick up the win.
In a game played Saturday, Derry lost to Deer Lakes, 4-3, in a WPIAL non-section game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Ridilla singled twice, drove in two runs and stole two bases.
Derry (4-1, 3-0) plays host to Uniontown on Wednesday.