Errors cost Burrell in first-round loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Most of Burrell's losses this season have resulted from mental and physical errors.
Tuesday, errors the Bucs a WPIAL playoff game and brought an end to the season.
Brownsville built an early lead, aided by unearned runs, and the cushion proved to be pivotal as the Falcons survived a late Burrell rally to post a 5-3 victory at Woodland Hills High School.
The Class AA first-round victory, Brownsville's sixth in a row overall, put the Falcons (16-5) into the quarterfinal round today against top-ranked Ellwood City at Pullman Park at 7 p.m.
Burrell, in the playoffs for the 14th consecutive season, finished 10-8.
“Quite a lot of errors the first couple innings,” Bucs coach Mark Spohn said. “We got behind and tried to battle back but came up short.”
Junior right-hander Tyler Spohn, no relation to the Burrell coach, went the distance for Brownsville, though he allowed 14 baserunners.
For Burrell, Matt Cercone took the loss, but errors contributed.
For example, Fred Heiser, Brownsville's No. 2 hitter, could have been out three times in the first inning.
After Phil Gnus opened with a single, Heiser hit a ball on the right side just where Burrell second baseman Mike Mazur had to vacate when Gnus broke for second.
After a balk, Tyler Spohn's grounder was gobbled up by Cody Wolfe, who threw to first with Gnus holding at third.
Heiser, however, ran to third but managed to get back to second when Burrell was slow to make a play.
Two batters later, Noah Saxon hit a bouncer to the mound, but the throw for the force play at third bounced awry, and Heiser was safe.
Hesiser later scored on a bases-loaded walk.
In the second, after Gnus led off with another single, Heiser blasted a drive over the head of Burrell center fielder Austin Awes. A missed cut-off throw led to another run, and Heiser scored on a single by Tyler Spohn to make it 4-0 Brownsville.
Three straight Falcons singles in the third allowed Brownsville to take a 5-0 lead.
After Burrell stranded five runners on base over the first four innings, the Bucs finally broke through in the fifth.
Nick Artman led off with a double for Burrell's first hit and scored on Mazur's single. A Tyler Reynolds double in the sixth scored Austin Devore.
Awes led off the seventh with a walk, and Mazur was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game.
Brownsville coach Skooter Roebuck visited the mound, but left Tyler Spohn in.
“I was giving him one more hitter,” Roebuck said. “I told my assistant to have the closer warmed up because he (Spohn) started to have problems walking and with a hit batter.”
With the bases loaded and one out, Justin Smith hit a drive to right field that looked as if it could tie the game.
But freshman Devin Braddock, inserted for defensive purposes, snared the drive while Awes tagged up and scored.
“Not a whole lot I could tell them to make them feel better,” coach Spohn said after a brief, post-game meeting in right field. “They know what they did, and I know what they did.”
George Guido is a freelance writer.
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.
- Young Belle Vernon Area baseball team could start 7 sophomores
- Ringgold baseball finally has veteran group
- Area baseball teams relying on pitching to achieve ultimate goal
- Penn Hills baseball has high hopes on diamond
- Chartiers Valley baseball hopes to triumph behind arms of unproven pitchers
- Plum baseball returns from Florida with 3-0 record
- Defense to play key role for Gateway baseball
- Latrobe baseball forming ‘building blocks’ to succeed
- Pitching depth has Serra Catholic baseball team optimistic
- Valley Independent roundup: California Area comes out hitting — again