TribLIVE

| Sports


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

Playoff-bound Yough hopes to finish regular-season strong

Aaron Loughner | For the Tribune-Review - Murrysville's Justin Johnson pitches during the Westmoreland County Junior Legion final on July 19, 2012.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Aaron Loughner | For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Murrysville's Justin Johnson pitches during the Westmoreland County Junior Legion final on July 19, 2012.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Yough pitcher C.J. Vargo delivers a pitch against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Yough pitcher C.J. Vargo delivers a pitch against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Yough's Luke Spisak rounds third base before scoring the game-winning run during a game against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Yough's Luke Spisak rounds third base before scoring the game-winning run during a game against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review - Yough's Brad Bisko (10) warms up on deck during a game against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Brian F. Henry  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Yough's Brad Bisko (10) warms up on deck during a game against Greensburg Salem on Monday, April 29, 2013, at Yough.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 11:27 p.m.
 

Yough's baseball team has some unfinished business, despite qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Cougars (9-8, 7-4) sealed a postseason berth with an uninspired 4-2 victory Wednesday at Laurel Highlands.

“It was an ugly win,” coach Jeremy Zufall said. “Neither team played well, but Cody (Overly) pitched a solid five innings, allowing only one run.

“Our goal from the start was to win the WPIAL title. Our next goal was to win the section, and that's out of the picture. We don't care who we play. We don't want to be one and done.”

Zufall, also the school's wrestling coach, is in his first season at Yough after the school board opened the position held by longtime coach Terry Odelli after last season.

What Odelli had started, Zufall wants to finish. With a week left in the season, Yough is in the thick of the Section 3-AAA race.

The Cougars are in third place behind Indiana (12-3, 8-2) and Derry (8-5, 7-3).

Yough, which was 9-10 overall and 7-7 in Section 2-AAA last year, has one section game left, home against Mt. Pleasant (7-8, 4-5) on Monday.

“We want to finish strong,” Zufall said. “That's why the game with Mt. Pleasant (Monday) is important.”

Zufall has his team playing baseball with a wrestling mentality: not quitting when times are tough.

That has helped them win games with late-inning rallies. The biggest comeback win came against Mt. Pleasant on April 18. The Cougars trailed, 7-1, early but rallied for a 9-8 victory. Yough also rallied in the late innings to defeat Uniontown and Greensburg Salem.

“The Mt. Pleasant game was a test,” Zufall said. “We could have folded, but we found a way to win. The players started believing what we were teaching them. We knew we had some good players returning, but now they are starting to find their niche. We've overcome a lot adversity. We're starting to pay attention to details.”

And that work ethic comes from hours of practice.

“When we're not playing, we're practicing six days a week,” Zufall said. “They want to be at practice. They don't mind putting in the extra work. We don't want any excuses if we don't achieve our goals.”

Seniors Luke Spisak, Brad Bisko and Tucker Slatosky have been the leaders.

Bisko, who plays shortstop, leads the team in hitting with a .388 average, 19 hits, 12 RBI and five doubles. Slatosky, a center fielder, is hitting .340 with 18 hits, 11 runs and 11 stolen bases.

Spisak, who pitches and plays third base, is batting .383. He leads the team with 14 runs scored, three triples and 15 stolen bases. He also has three doubles and 10 RBI. On the mound, Spisak is 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA.

“Luke is our workhorse on the mound,” Zufall said. “He wants the ball.”

The other pitcher is junior C.J. Vargo, who is 4-0 with a 2.44 ERA.

And while the seniors are the leaders, Zufall said many players have contributed.

Overly, a junior infielder, is hitting .300 with 15 hits, 10 RBI and nine stolen bases, while junior outfielder Josh Sterner is batting. 308.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Baseball

  1. Elizabeth Forward bides its time, then rallies for victory over West Mifflin
  2. Greensburg high school roundup: Hempfield takes down rival P-T
  3. High school roundup: Allderdice baseball upsets Plum
  4. Latrobe baseball routs Connellsville to move closer to WPIAL playoff berth
  5. Two-out rally lifts West Shamokin past Apollo-Ridge
  6. Daily News roundup: Elizabeth Forward softball edges West Mifflin
  7. Monessen suffers costly 2-A loss, 10-6
  8. ‘Battle of Bridgeville’ could decide playoff fates for Chartiers Valley, South Fayette baseball
  9. High school roundup: Mt. Lebanon rolls to victory
  10. Key games on docket as regular season winds down
  11. Serra Catholic baseball team’s outburst sinks Monessen