TJ closes in on baseball title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Senior recognition games are intended to provide high school athletes with one final chance to shine before a hometown crowd in their particular sport of choice.
Excuse Thomas Jefferson sophomore Greg Schneider, though, if he again couldn't wait until his final season as a member of coach Rich Krivanek's Jaguars baseball team to get into a season-ending celebratory spirit.
Schneider tormented visiting Section 4-AAA foe South Park for the second straight season Wednesday by collecting a pair of two-RBI triples before scoring a pair of additional runs to lead TJ to an 8-2 senior recognition game victory.
Only one year earlier, Schneider kicked off the Jaguars' 2009 senior day festivities by pitching his first career no-hitter against the Eagles in the first game of a doubleheader, which was concluded with a rain-shortened contest against rival Elizabeth Forward.
"We just came out and we weren't looking so good," Schneider said following his 3-for-3 performance, which also included a first-inning single. "A couple people stepped up. We sort of got into it and we started hitting better. We came together, pulled it through."
For Section 4-AAA first-place TJ (12-6, 11-1), the victory over South Park (6-11, 5-8) also provided a fitting send-off for senior pitcher Frank Szubra.
After conceding a run in the top of the first inning when Nick Yobbi struck a sacrifice fly to left field to hand the Eagles a 1-0 lead, Szubra rebounded and was virtually untouchable over the remainder of his outing to pick up the mound win and improve to 5-1 on the season.
In five innings of work, Szubra allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter. He allowed only two hits and stranded four runners on base following the first inning.
"He came out throwing strikes," Krivanek said of Szubra. "I know today was a big day for him. It was emotional, so for him to come out and pitch like that was really impressive. He's been doing it for us all year, so I wasn't really surprised. He's been a leader."
For Szubra, the key against South Park was locating his fastball for strikes on a day when his curveball, slider and change-up pitches lacked their usual effectiveness.
"I love being out there, being able to fire up my team," Szubra, who was also 2-for-3 with a walk at the plate, said. "I love being able to try and lead the best I can and it's just a great feeling. I've got a great team behind me. A great bunch of guys."
Those teammates provided all the run support Szubra would need in the second inning.
With one out, senior Ed Hasis and sophomore Rocky Marcheleta provided consecutive singles against South Park starting pitcher Christopher Winkler.
Schneider then blasted his first triple of the game off of the left field fence and came around to score when Eagles left fielder Braydan Benedetti's throw toward home plate soared out of play.
The Jaguars added on to their 3-1 lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Schneider drove in two more runs with his second triple of the game to initiate the scoring and then scored on a wild pitch.
Catcher Tyler Toboz then blasted a two-run homer to chase Winkler from the game and make the TJ lead 8-1.
"We responded real well," Krivanek said. "A couple big hits woke us up a little bit and we rolled from there. That's sort of what we've been doing all year."
Winkler picked up the loss for South Park after working 3 2⁄3 innings. He allowed eight runs, six earned, on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
South Park scored its second run of the game against Jaguars reliever Brian Schmidt in the sixth inning. The unearned run came around to score on Carter Grote's two-out single.
Designated hitter Patrick Bradshaw was 3-for-3 to lead the Eagles effort at the plate.
TJ returns to action on Friday with a trip to face rival Elizabeth Forward (14-4, 9-3) at Wylie Field. First pitch is set for 3:45 p.m.
If the first-place Jaguars are able to defeat the Warriors they will capture TJ's first outright section title since 1987.
"I know it's been a long time since this school's seen an outright section title," Krivanek said of his program that shared section crowns in 2007 and 1989. "It'd be nice to get it for them."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Concert aims to heal wounds of Armstrong veterans
- Grant helps Armstrong agency provide cribs to needy families
- Armstrong fire departments sharpen river rescue skills
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- 2B Walker, Pirates smash through Tigers pitching in road victory
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- W. Elizabeth mulls cost of new garage
- Pirates notebook: Cole cool about hostile comment
- Gameday: Pirates at Tigers, July 2, 2015