Cal comes back to beat S. Academy
The California Trojans haven't failed to make the Final Four in Class A the last four years.
Cal coach Don Hartman is hoping to make that streak five this season.
The Trojans reached the WPIAL quarterfinals with a come-from-behind 7-4 win over Sewickley Academy at Burgettstown.
The Trojans (16-4) will take on third-seeded Riverview (15-4) in the quarterfinals. Riverview defeated Rochester, 9-4, in a first round game Monday.
Although Hartman was pleased his team fought back from a 4-2 deficit, he said the Trojans can't afford to give up easy runs if they want to go deeper into the playoffs.
“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes that (Sewickley Academy) took advantage of and I hate to see that,” said Hartman. “I'd rather be up by four or five runs going into the sixth inning.”
Instead, the Trojans were down 4-2 in the fifth when they scored two runs to tie the game on an RBI triple by Michael Luketich and RBI single by Aaron Previsky.
In the sixth, Cal scored three runs to pull out the win.
Josh Luko smacked a two-run double that one-hopped the fence in left center and Luketich drilled an RBI single, his fourth hit of the game.
California had 10 hits with Luketich, Previsky (three) and Luko (two) collecting nine.
“Those guys all started for me as you players last year and played in a WPIAL championship game,” Hartman said. “I would hope that they know what it takes in a big game and they showed that today.
“We just need to come out and play a more complete game fromthe start and not need to come back lat ein the game. It's going to be hard to do that against a team like Riverview.”
The Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Luketich and Previsky each singled home runs.
California last played Riverview in 2001 in the WPIAL Class A title game in which the Trojans gave Hartman his first title as a coach.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.