| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Neshannock wins 5th WPIAL baseball title

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 8:10 p.m.

Ejected and maybe a little dejected during Neshannock's WPIAL Class A quarterfinal triumph May 16, pitcher Alex Strittmatter was given two options by his coach.

“I told him ‘You can sit and hopefully get the ball on championship night, if you keep (your teammates) positive, keep them up. Or you can sit there and pout,'” Mike Kirkwood recalled after the senior was thrown out for running into the catcher, leading to a suspension for last week's semifinals.

“‘I think I know which you're going to choose.'”

With the right-hander standing tall on the Consol Energy Park mound Wednesday evening in the league title game, his answer was clear.

Against offensively overwhelming and undefeated No. 2 seed California, No. 1 Neshannock's ace struck out 10 in a 5-0 victory. It is the second consecutive title and fifth overall for the Lancers, who are moving to Class AA next seson.

“We've made it to three consective WPIAL championships, and I pitched in all three,” Strittmatter said. “I just kept thinking I'd rather be known as the pitcher who won two instead of losing two.”

California's T.D. Conway matched Strittmatter's strikeout total, and the pair put on a tense duel over the first four innings, with both escaping bases-loaded situations. But the Trojans' starter tired as the game went on.

Strittmatter scored on an error with two outs to open the scoring in the fourth, and Ryan Giangiuli earned the game's first RBI with a single in the next inning. The Lancers sealed the win with a three-run sixth inning that featured two more errors before John Conglose's two-run double.

“T.D., he's in great shape,” Trojans coach Don Hartman said. “But he did throw a lot of pitches today, more than normal. ... Bottom line is we didn't hit the ball when we had our opportunities.”

California (19-1) will attempt to begin a new winning streak Monday against the District 6 champion in the first round of the PIAA tournament. Neshannock (21-2) meets the runner-up from District 6 the same day and is looking to end a different streak — they've lost in the opening round two years in a row.

“We definitely have a chip on our shoulder from last year,” Lancers shortstop John Sansone said. “We've been circling it since last year.”




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. State Supreme Court Justice McCaffery sent explicit emails
  2. West Newton man found dead in helicopter wreckage near Rostraver Airport
  3. Truck accident closes all inbound lanes of Parkway West
  4. Penguins release Carcillo from tryout contract
  5. Rossi: Pirates can’t waste McCutchen’s prime
  6. Steelers pressing to create opportunities to get to quarterback
  7. Pirates’ Martin calls crowd chant ‘pretty special’
  8. Giants, Bumgarner shut out Pirates in wild-card game
  9. East Huntingdon man dies following police chase
  10. Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits, phasing out pension
  11. Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.