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Ligonier Valley baseball tallies 2 conference wins

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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo
Ligonier Valley High School baseball pitcher Billy Elliott prepares to release a fast ball at a recent game. Taken April 22, 2013 at Ligonier Valley High School field.
Top high school sports
By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In its most recent string of games, the Ligonier Valley High School baseball team won two conference victories against United and Penns Manor, lost a conference battle to Blairsville and played in a non-conference tournament, where they lost to North Star and beat Forrest Hills. This brings the Rams' conference record to 8-2, with a 10-3 overall season record.

Blanking United 10-0, the Rams scored in their first three at-bats. They scored a run in the first inning, three runs in the second and one more in the third before a scoreless fourth inning. Ligonier then picked the scoring pace back up, bringing in three runs in the fifth, and a Ty Ferlin triple brought in Jordan Jones and Brent Stiles for the final two runs needed to force an early victory.

Ferlin and Jones both scored three runs in the game, Stiles and Ryan Torrance each scored twice and Zack Yeskey went two for three with two RBIs. Nick Payne and Rick Ross split pitching duty, each going three innings on the mound. Payne struck out four, walked two and gave up two hits. Ross threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed two hits.

In the first game of the tournament, Ligonier Valley gave up a 10-3 loss to North Star High School. Though the Rams scored three runs in the third, North Star leveled the score in the bottom of the fourth. They would then take the lead in the sixth, scoring seven and allowing the Rams nothing. Jones, Ferlin and Torrance each scored for Ligonier.

Ligonier then won the second game of the tournament, a 15-5 victory over Forrest Hills. The Rams maintained a constant flow of offense, scoring in all but the third inning. Ty Ferlin and Jake Nemeth both scored three runs, Yeskey and Ross two, as well as Torrance, Jones, Alex Tutino, Andrew Schultz and Brian Custer, who each contributed a run.

Jones pitched three innings giving up a walk, five hits and a run. Schultz came in and pitched the fourth inning and two outs in the fifth. He walked five batters and gave up four runs on three hits.

The Rams were unable to avenge the loss to Blairsville in the return match, falling 7-3 in their second conference loss of the season. Ligonier allowed Blairsville to score on their first at-bat then evened the score midway through the second, only to give up runs in the next four innings. The Rams scored a run in both the fourth and sixth innings, but were unable to overcome the deficit.

Billy Elliot pitched four innings for Ligonier Valley, throwing four strikeouts. He also walked five batters, committed four errors, which led to five Blairsville runs. Nick Payne came in to relieve Elliot. He struck out a batter, but gave up four hits and two runs.

In the final game of the stretch, Ligonier defeated Penns Manor 19-3 in only three innings. The Rams scored multiple runs in each inning, bringing in three in the first, seven in the second and nine in the third. Luke Ferlin and Torrance both scored three runs, Ty Ferlin, Yeskey, Jones and Tutino each scored twice and Nemeth also brought in a run. Rick Ross pitched the entire game. He struck out three batters and committed one error, giving up a run in the first inning and two more in the second.

The Rams will play host to Saltsburg 4 p.m. Thursday and travel to Northern Cambria Monday.

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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