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WPIAL all-star game yields a rout

| 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
Greensburg Salem's John Szmed bats during the WPIAL All-Star game at Burkett Field June 10, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

McKeesport pitcher Zach Krivda took an extra long look at the scoreboard when he walked to the mound during a WPIAL baseball all-star game Sunday at the Burkett Complex in Robinson.

He pitched with a lead quite a few times during his time with the Tigers, but he had never come into a high school game with a 13-run edge.

The southpaw had a perfect fifth inning with strikeouts of Greensburg Salem's John Szmed and Thomas Jefferson's Ryan Ruffing to help Class AAAA to a 16-3 blowout of Class AAA. Krivda, who walked in both of his plate appearances, toed the rubber with a 15-2 lead.

“We put up seven in the one inning, which was big for us,” Krivda said. “When you have a big lead like that, you can just relax and it's easy.”

Norwin's representatives helped out offensively: Second baseman Cam Onderko and catcher Max McDowell had walks during a seven-run, fifth-inning outburst. Onderko walked and scored the fourth run of the inning when Eddie Dutkewycz of Albert Gallatin drew a bases-loaded walk before McDowell followed with another RBI free pass that plated Plum's Luke Koshinski.

Greg Schneider of Thomas Jefferson, the WPIAL Class AAA Pitcher of the Year, may have been the lone bright spot for Class AAA. Although TJ coach Rich Krivanek had said the Pitt recruit would not pitch after he threw 6 13 innings in the Jaguars' 6-1 PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal loss to Blackhawk on Thursday, Schneider struck out the side in a perfect ninth.

“I wasn't (supposed to), but I convinced them to let me pitch,” Schneider said. “It was just an overall great experience. They're great hitters, the best in Quad-A, and to strike out the side was a great feeling.”

Serra Catholic left-hander Alain Girman had a roller-coaster relief outing in the opener between the Class A and Class AA all-stars, which ended in a 5-5 tie.

At times, the Mount St. Mary's recruit was dominant, but he also struggled with control and it came back to haunt Class A.

Staked to a 5-1 lead when he entered in the bottom of the fifth, Girman worked two scoreless innings with two walks and four strikeouts. But in his third inning, Class AA sent nine batters to the plate and tied the score with four runs — three earned.

“A couple walks here and there and a couple little hits,” Girman said. “It happens.”

Although Girman had a tough time finding the strike zone, Class AA scored its four runs without a ball leaving the infield. He allowed a pair of infield singles, a player reached on a strikeout/wild pitch and there were two walks and an error.

“I learned a lot playing this year with Serra that you're not going to get everyone out,” he said. “There's nothing you can really do about it, and you have to focus on the next batter.”

Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kbarnes@tribweb.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.

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