Hempfield baseball headed to PIAA playoffs for 1st time
By Paul Schofield
Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:06 p.m.
Hempfield's historic baseball season will continue for at least another week.
And if the players and coach Tim Buzzard have anything to say about it, even longer.
Hempfield got three RBI from Joey DeFloria and a two-run home run by Greg Martin Wednesday to defeat Pine-Richland, 9-2, in a WPIAL Class AAAA third-place game at Washington & Jefferson's Ross Memorial Park.
The victory puts Hempfield (20-4) into the PIAA playoffs for the first time. The Spartans will play WPIAL champion North Allegheny Monday at Shaler.
Hempfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Pine-Richland starter Jamie Switalski. Luke Fox, who went 3 for 4, opened with a single and swiped second. After Nathan Mori walked, both runners moved up on a wild pitch.
DeFloria bounced a ball off shortstop Daane Berezo's glove for an error to score Fox, and Mori scored when the ball rolled into center field.
Usually, that's all Hempfield starter Zach Martinelli needs, but the senior who will pitch at Seton Hill University in 2014, struggled with his control. He was lifted after allowing a run, a hit and eight walks.
“It was the most walks we've had by five all season,” Buzzard said. “But the pitchers made big pitches when we needed them. Greg's hit gave us a little breathing room, and then we had that huge sixth inning.”
After Pine-Richland trimmed the Hempfield lead to 2-1, Martin hit a two-run home run that easily cleared the 385-foot mark in right-center.
“He was working me inside the entire game,” Martin said. “I was trying to make good contact.”
Mori had a two-run single in the sixth inning and DeFloria followed with a two-run triple.
Martinelli said: “I have no idea why I was so wild. I couldn't control anything. Good thing the offense showed up.”
Pine-Richland (17-6) left 11 runners on base. It only had two hits, but could not take advantage of 10 walks.
“Unfortunately, we didn't get that big hit,” Pine-Richland coach Kurt Wolfe said. “We made Martinelli work, and we got guys on base, but when you only get two hits you're not going to win many games. We haven't been hitting in the playoffs.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
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.