Shady Side Academy knocks off last season's state baseball champion
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Shady Side Academy baseball team surprised Riverside, the two-time defending PIAA champions, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA baseball playoffs on May 13.
Led by Chris Sawicki, SSA rolled to a 9-2 win. Sawicki had four hits and drove in four runs.
The Indians led by an 8-0 count after three innings and Paul McCullough picked up the complete game win.
“It was a great win for our kids,” SSA coach Bob Grandizio Jr. said. “They were excited about playing last year's state champs and the team that eliminated us in the semifinals, so there was a bit of a revenge factor.”
“Paul was tough to hit and induced a lot of ground balls and easy fly balls. We played great defense behind him and Chuckie Scales had eight assists at shortstop”
The Indians had some solid offensive efforts to go with Sawicki's four-hit game.
Jake Kleindl had an RBI single and sacrifice fly. Scales had two hits with a pair of runs batted in, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
“As a team, it was the kind of game we played often in the early part of the season, but not as much late in the season so it was great to see us get to back to form,” Grandizio said.
The win advanced the Indians to a quarterfinal matchup with Chartiers-Houston at Upper St. Clair on May 15. Unlike the previous game, this one was filled with drama.
The Indians trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Scales was hit by a pitch and Sawicki walked. McCullough hit a sacrifice fly to move Scales to third and Sawicki stole second.
That set the stage for Kleindl, who hit a two-out, two-run single to give SSA a 2-1 win and move them into the semifinals, which were scheduled to be played May 21.
Coleman Strohm pitched a complete game for the win, allowing four hits and striking out nine.
“It was a pitchers duel,” Grandizio said. “Coleman outdueled their pitcher Alex Ferrari. Coleman was great. He worked fast and used three pitches effectively to keep them off balance and overpowered, at times.”
Evan Eisner had two hits for the Indians.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.