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

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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>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.

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Monday, May 13, 2013, 11:39 p.m.
 

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.

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