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Offense aplenty in WPIAL all-star games

| Monday, June 11, 2012, 12:30 a.m.
Norwin's Cam Onderko bats during the WPIAL All-Star game at Burkett Field on June 10, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Bethel Park's Anthony Cinello charges a ball hit by Greensburg Salem's John Szmed during the WPIAL All-Star game at Burkett Field June 10, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

Sunday's all-star baseball game matching the standouts from WPIAL's Class AAAA and AAA quickly became one-sided.

Class AAAA led by eight runs after three innings and rolled to a 16-3 victory at Burkett Field in Robinson.

“It feels great to go out there with the run support of a great hitting team,” said Baldwin pitcher Nick Opferman, who struck out six in three scoreless innings of relief to earn Pitcher of the Game honors. “My teammates (Sunday) were my arch-enemies during the season, but it was a great experience to win this with them.”

The Class AAAA stars tallied four runs in both the second and third innings. Peters Township's Andrew Erenberg had big hits in both innings and to earn Player of the Game honors. He singled in a run in the second and added a triple in the third that plated two more runs as Class AAAA opened an 8-0 lead.

It batted around in the fifth, sending 11 to the plate and scoring seven runs on three hits, five walks and two errors.

Class AAAA tallied 15 hits and took advantage of nine walks. Class AAA had 11 hits.

Class AA 5, Class A 5 — Shady Side Academy's Ben Hartz is being recruited by several Division I programs, but he remained undecided on a college decision yesterday at the all-star game between Class A and AA.

But on the field, he was decisive on the mound and at the plate. Hartz started and pitched three innings. He gave up four hits but didn't surrender a run and struck out five. He also was 2 for 3 with a double.

He was named Pitcher of the Game as Class AA rallied from a 5-1 deficit to forge a tie. The teams played nine innings, and the game ended after the AA team was retired without scoring in the ninth.

“This was an awesome experience,” Hartz said. “There's amazing talent on both teams. I really wish we would've won, but it was great.”

Springdale's Joe Killian, an Allegheny College recruit, earned Player of the Game recognition for helping Class A at the plate. He singled in two runs with one out in a five-run fifth.

Jefferson-Morgan's Brandon Lesko followed with a run-scoring double to plate two runs later in the inning.

Class A finished with 11 hits against six pitchers. Neshannock's Alex Strittmatter, Class A's starting pitcher, added a single and a double.

Class AA rallied with four runs in the seventh. Brownsville's Phil Gnus, Ellwood City's Christian Kerns, Southmoreland's Brandon Galley and Laurel's Todd Fennick each had an RBI in the surge.

Michael Love is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mlove@tribweb.com or 412-388-5825.

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