Blairsville used timely hitting, solid pitching and superb defense to upend previously unbeaten Ligonier Valley, 8-2, in a Heritage Conference baseball game Monday in Ligonier.
The Bobcats, who amassed a season-high 14 stolen bases, broke open a close game and plated four runs on four hits and an error in the top of the sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead. Anthony Faulk and Bobby Thompson each belted two-run doubles to fuel the rally.
“We had someone on every inning, and we were running the bases really well,” Blairsville coach Mark Zerfoss said. “We stole second nine times and third five times. We got them in scoring position right off the bat, and that kind of set things up at the plate. Every time we’d get a base hit we’d capitalize and score a run or two.”
Thompson struck out two and allowed seven hits in a complete-game win. Thompson also went 2-for-2 with a run scored and four RBIs.
Cameron Livingston singled three times for Blairsville, and Scott Thompson singled and drove in a pair of runs.
Luke Ferlin paced Ligonier Valley by going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Zach Yeskey singled twice, and losing pitcher Billy Elliott struck out 11, walked four and allowed four hits in five innings.
Both teams play Wednesday. Blairsville (6-1) travels to Marion Center, and Ligonier Valley (6-1) visits Purchase Line.
INDIANA 5, GREENSBURG SALEM 1: Danny Clark, Bo Putt and Ryan Creps carried the load offensively for Indiana, while pitcher Sean Thompson again fired a gem, and the Indians improved to 9-2 with a win over host Greensburg Salem in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game.
The Indians scored the game’s first five runs and outhit the Lions 10-4.
Clark finished 3-for-4 with a double, Putt went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Creps singled twice and drove in a pair of runs.
“Clark and Putt really set the table for us,” Indiana coach Rob Stossel said. “They were just seeing pitches well and getting quality at-bats. They did exactly what we expect out of our 1 and 2 hitters. The rest of the order just did what they needed to do to poke them in.”
Thompson fired a four-hitter, striking out nine, walking two and allowing no earned runs. The hard-throwing junior saw his shutout nullified when the Lions scored off an error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In 30 innings this year, Thompson has struck out 47, walked six (two intentionally) and allowed one earned run.
“You just feel confident when you give him the ball,” Stossel said. “One thing about Sean is he gets a lot of strikeouts, so the defense usually gets to relax and settle in a little bit.
“He’s really just been lights out for us all year.”
Indiana travels to Uniontown today.
SALTSBURG 11-12, PENNS MANOR 1-1: Saltsburg amassed a combined 25 hits and 23 runs in two games and swept Penns Manor in a Heritage Conference doubleheader at the Kiski School.
In the first game, Saltsburg banged out 10 hits and jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the third inning. The Trojans enforced the mercy rule after six innings.
Mitchel Yard led Saltsburg by going 2-for-5 with a solo home run and three RBIs. Brody Bieda went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and Adam Deruelle singled and drove in two runs. Bryce Zimmerman singled twice and drove in a run.
Ian Satler fired a two-hitter, striking out eight and walking four. Satler also drove in two runs.
The Trojans outhit the Comets 15-2 in the second game and enforced the mercy rule after five innings.
Zimmerman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Yard finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs, and Deruelle doubled and drove in two runs. Lucas Mowery went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and Bieda cracked a solo homer.
Steve Richards tossed a two-hitter, striking out 10 and walking none.
Saltsburg (6-3) plays host to Homer-Center today, and Penns Manor travels to Northern Cambria on Wednesday.
NORTHERN CAMBRIA 16, UNITED 7: Northern Cambria racked up 18 hits and used big rallies in the second, fifth and seventh innings to outslug United in a Heritage Conference game in Armagh.
John Hornick powered Northern Cambria by going 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. Matt Eckenrode went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, Josh Bonatesta finished 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Joey Frontino singled, doubled and drove in two runs. Mac Novella singled twice.
Joe Olish struck out three and walked one in five innings to pick up the win.
Kolt Jarvis doubled, tripled and drove in two runs to lead United. Bailey Skavang singled, doubled and drove in a run.
United (1-7) travels to Penns Manor on Thursday, and Northern Cambria plays host to Penns Manor on Wednesday.
APOLLO-RIDGE 6, VALLEY 3: Apollo-Ridge won its fourth straight game, riding Jarrett Geiger’s complete game to a victory over Valley in a non-section game in New Kensington.
Geiger struck out four and gave up one walk, limiting Valley to three runs on eight hits in seven innings.
Sam Held and Ryan Ferguson each ripped doubles for Apollo-Ridge, and Ferguson and Delbert Brown drove in two runs apiece.
Apollo-Ridge (7-7) plays host to Deer Lakes on Wednesday.
DERRY 10, LAUREL HIGHLANDS 8: Derry collected 14 hits and scored the game’s first seven runs en route to a win over Laurel Highlands in a WPIAL Section 2-AAA game at Grandview Field.
Luke Maloy went 3-for-3 with a double, a stolen base, two runs scored and three RBIs for Derry. Robby Hebenthal went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Luke Ridilla singled twice and drove in a run, and Johnny Panizzi singled twice.
Connor Wege, who also singled and drove in two runs, struck out six, walked one and allowed eight hits in a 6 1-3 innings to get the win. Ridilla got the save.
Derry (6-4, 5-2) travels to Yough on Wednesday.