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Held, Vickless providing offensive punch for Brentwood

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jeff Healy | For The South Hills Record
Two of the leading hitters on the Brentwood baseball team are, from left, Jake Held and Justin Vickless.
Jeff Healy | For The South Hills Record
Brentwood outfielder Justin Vickless

The players on the Brentwood baseball team displayed their resolve, and perhaps a dash of perseverance, last week.

The Spartans won their first game of the season after an 0-6 start that was lengthened by numerous weather-related cancelations.

Brentwood traveled to Avonworth last week and defeated the Antelopes, 8-3.

“Obviously this wasn't the start we expected this season. We just aren't playing consistent baseball,” Greg Perdziola, the Spartans' head coach, said. “We have been in some close games, where our pitching has been very good, but our hitting and fielding let us down.”

Brentwood also lost to South Side Beaver, 5-1, and Quaker Valley, 9-3, last week, to drop to 1-8 on the year and in section play.

All nine Brentwood games were section contests. The Spartans lost three one-run decisions earlier this season to New Brighton, 2-1, South Side Beaver, 5-4, and Freedom, 4-3.

“The pitching in this section has been very impressive,” Perdziola said, “but we just haven't been aggressive at the plate.”

Through action last week, Quaker Valley stood in first place in Section 1-AA with a 9-0 record. The Quakers, who were 11-0 overall, were trailed by New Brighton (7-2), Seton-La Salle (4-4), Carlynton (4-4), Freedom (4-4), Avonworth (1-7) and Brentwood.

“Even though we have been only able to win one game, our players still have a good attitude and are giving a good effort each game,” Perdziola said.

Among the team's offensive leaders through eight games were senior first baseman Jake Held, with a .417 batting average, two home runs and seven RBI; and junior outfielder Justin Vickless, who was hitting .355, with five doubles and one home run.

Vickless punched out a double against Quaker Valley last week.

Senior pitcher Chris Shortley had registered 32 strikeouts through 24 innings of work, to go along with his .259 batting average, two home runs and eight RBI.

Two other long-ball threats at Brentwood are junior catcher Derek Hogue and sophomore infielder Connor McWilliams, each with one home run.

The Spartans are scheduled to play their final home game of the season tomorrow, Friday, against Avonworth.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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