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BVA clinches playoff berth

| Saturday, May 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Bella Vernon's # 8 Adam Ferita slides, back safe to 2nd after rundown attempt as Carrick's, #19 Bryndyn Jones throws the ball to #34 Chase Hannan and #36 Michael Hennel backs him up in the 1st inning at the DiVirgilio Sport Complex in Rostraver Township.  On Friday,May 3, 2013.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Bella Vernon's # 8 Adam Ferita slides, back safe to 2nd after rundown attempt as Carrick's, #19 Bryndyn Jones throws the ball to #34 Chase Hannan and #36 Michael Hennel backs him up in the 1st inning at the DiVirgilio Sport Complex in Rostraver Township. On Friday,May 3, 2013.

Belle Vernon Area picked up its playoff ticket in Section 4 AAA Friday with a 4-1 win over Carrick at the John DiVirgilio Complex.

As of now, the Leps are tied for second place with Thomas Jefferson (11-7, 7-4).

TJ blasted Elizabeth Forward, 19-4, to also clinch a playoff berth.

However, EF can get a playoff spot with a win over BVA, and West Mifflin (10-7, 6-5) can force a four-way tie for second place with a win over TJ and an EF win over BVA.

West Mifflin kept its hopes alive with a 9-0 win at Ringgold (3-11, 1-10).

In BVA's win, the Leps did all their scoring in the first two innings with two runs in each frame.

In the first, Dom Francia drove home a run on a groundout and Joe Simsic singled in the other run.

In the second, Adam Ferita hit a two-run double to make it 4-0.

That was all the support Ferita needed as he went five innings to up his record to 6-0.

“The pitching really came through for us and the defense was solid,” said BVA assistant Ryan Shetterly, who will be coaching the Leps for three games while head coach Dan Palm sits out a three-game suspension.

“The errors have been what were doing us in all season, so to play like we did in the field today was important.”

Ferita had two hits for BVA, which only had one hit after the second inning — a double by Francia.

Francia pitched the seventh inning to get the save, striking out all three batters he faced.

Thomas Jefferson 19, Elizabeth Forward 4

The Jaguars needed just four innings to hand EF its worst loss of the season.

Jared Carranza, Jake Benack and Colton Booher each drove in two runs during a nine-run third inning that helped the Jaguars clinch an elusive WPIAL Class AAA playoff spot in bunched-up Section 4.

Carranza closed the game with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, while Benack went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and a stolen base.

For EF, Matt Diehl, Luke Padezan and Ryan Thornton each had doubles.

Frazier 15, Geibel 5

The Commodores (7-8, 5-5) kept their playoff hopes alive in Section 2 A with the five-inning win.

Frazier will make the playoffs if Monessen (6-9, 5-4) loses its final game against Bishop Canevin (6-4, 6-3).

The Commodores scored eight runs in the second inning.

Jaime Fell hit a home run and Blake Herron, Chaise Bertocci and Zach Mastowski all doubled.

Mastowski had two hits and Jared Rebovich added two singles.

“We came out kind of sluggish, but we reminded them what we needed to do,” Frazier coach Craig Kordich said. “Then we started smacking the ball around a little bit. We did what we needed to do and now we have to wait.”

California 10, Jeff-Morgan 2

The Trojans (13-4, 7-2) clinched at least a share of second place in Section 1 A with the win over Jeff-Morgan (9-4, 7-3).

California, which already clinched a playoff spot, can wrap up second place by itself with a win over Carmichaels (12-2, 9-0) at home Monday.

Bentworth 4, Burgettstown 2

The Bearcats (9-5, 8-5) kept their playoff hopes alive in Section 2 AA with the win.

Bentworth can reach the playoffs with a win over Beth-Center and a Chartiers-Houston loss to Fort Cherry.

South Park 16, Yough 6

The Cougars (9-9) lost the non-section game to unbeaten South Park (19-0).

Winning pitcher Jake Bywalski limited Yough to seven hits and helped his own cause with four hits.

Brad Bisko doubled for Yough.

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