Share This Page

Hempfield ace Martinelli strikes out 18 in 1st-round victory

| Monday, May 13, 2013, 11:39 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield pitcher Zach Martinelli delivers to a Fox Chapel batter during their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Martinelli struck out 18 batters and gave up a bunt single and two walks as he led Hempfield past Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield pitcher Zach Martinelli delivers to a Fox Chapel batter during their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway. Martinelli struck out 18 batters and gave up a bunt single and two walks as he led Hempfield past Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield runner Jeff Livengood scores past Fox Chapel catcher Zachary Burkhart in the fifth inning of their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Hempfield defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield pitcher Zach Martinelli is congratulated by catcher Tyler Hensler after they defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0, during their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Martinelli struck out 18 batters and gave up a bunt single and two walks.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield base runner Greg Martin slides safely past the tag of Fox Chapel second baseman Joshua Anderson on a double in the sixth inning of their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Hempfield defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield base runner Luke Fox slides safely past the tag of Fox Chapel second baseman Joshua Anderson with a stolen base in the fifth inning of their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Hempfield defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield base runner Luke Fox scores the eventual winning run past Fox Chapel catcher Zachary Burkhart during their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Hempfield defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield shortstop Nathan Mori tags out Fox Chapel base runner Robert Killian in a rundown between second and third base during the fifth inning of their WPIAL Class AAAA opening-round playoff game May 13, 2013, at Gateway High School in Monroeville. Hempfield defeated Fox Chapel, 2-0.

Zack Martinelli didn't let a two-hour delay to Monday's WPIAL Class AAAA first-round game affect him.

In fact, the Hempfield senior relished the spotlight under the lights at Gateway.

Martinelli tossed one of the most dominating performances ever in the WPIAL playoffs in leading Hempfield to a 2-0 victory over Fox Chapel. The start of the game, scheduled for 7 p.m., was delayed because the previous game went 11 innings.

Hempfield (18-3) will face Canon-McMillan, in a quarterfinal game 4 p.m. Wednesday at North Allegheny.

Martinelli, who only allowed a bunt single to leadoff hitter Taylor Huber in the fourth inning, struck out 18 and walked two.

“That was awesome,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said. “That's what you expect from your ace in the playoffs. That was one of the most dominating performances I've ever witnessed at any level.”

Even when they did make contact, the Foxes couldn't get the ball out of the infield. Martinelli struck out the first nine batters.

“I thought we had some good cuts against him. We just couldn't make contact,” Fox Chapel coach Michael Frank said. “It was quite a pitcher's duel, five hits between the teams. It was a helluva job by both pitchers.

“He threw hard and was around the plate. I tip my hat to him.”

Hempfield grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Luke Fox, who singled, scored on a fielder's choice by Greg Martin. The Spartans added a second run in the fifth inning when Tyler Hensler singled home Jeff Livengood, who singled.

“I felt good early,” Martinelli said. “I knew one run was all I needed. I tried to stay confident throughout the game. I never dreamed I'd strike out 18 batters in a game.”

Fox Chapel threatened in the fifth, but Martinelli picked a runner off second.

“He had a great fastball and good location,” Buzzard said. “He mixed a slider once in awhile, but all he needed was his fastball.”

Martinelli outdueled Fox Chapel lefty Chad Bartlett, who allowed four hits, struck out seven and walked one.

“We had better swings against him later in the game,” Buzzard said. “I thought we handled the delay well. It was cold, but the players stayed loose.”

Martinelli, however, stayed hot.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.