Hempfield edges Norwin on extra-inning home run
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hempfield and Norwin played home run derby Monday, and it took an extra inning to decide the outcome of their WPIAL Section 2-AAAA baseball opener.
Dom Mori's two-run shot for No. 3 Hempfield in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Spartans to a 4-3 victory over host Norwin.
The Knights tried to rally for a second consecutive inning with Nick Amendola's solo homer in the bottom of the inning — the fifth combined home run of the game by the two teams — before a circus catch ended the game.
“It certainly had the energy level of a playoff game out here today,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said. “It's a big rivalry.”
Solo homers by Joey DeFloria in the first and Erick Loucks in the second helped Hempfield (4-0, 1-0) take a 2-1 lead into the seventh, when Norwin (2-1, 0-1) tied it against reliever Marc Demilio on a one-out, RBI single by Dom Farina to score JJ Matijevic.
Mori's homer in the eighth gave Hempfield a 4-2 lead and came off reliever Amendola, who hit a solo homer for Norwin in the bottom of the eighth to pull the Knights within a run.
“There were so many ups and downs throughout this whole game,” Buzzard said. “This is a very tough place to come into and win. We were fortunate to hold on.”
After Amendola's homer led off the bottom of the eighth and cut the Hempfield lead to 4-3, Dan Passarello singled with one out. But Demilio, who worked out of a fifth-inning jam after replacing starter Tyler Tubbs, got Connor Perry to hit into a force play for the second out.
Buzzard chose to intentionally walk Matijevic for a second time — putting the tying run at second — and pitch to Farina, who hit Demilio's first offering to deep right field, where Jeff Livengood made a leaping catch to end the game.
“It was a very hard decision to make,” Buzzard said of walking the left-handed hitting Matijevic. “You're playing with a short fence out there. We said coming in that we were not going to let him beat us. It was going to have to be someone else.”
Buzzard gambled with the right-handed hitting Farina.
Matijevic, who is headed to Arizona, also homered for Norwin in the first — his second of the season — after DeFloria had given Hempfield a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning. Matijevic's single started Norwin's seventh-inning rally that sent the game into extra innings.
Farina, who has committed to Youngstown State, also had two hits for Norwin.
“You got to see two pretty good ball teams today,” Norwin coach Mike Liebdzinski said. “It was a quality high school game that resembled a playoff game. Hopefully, we can just shake it off and bounce back from it.”
Norwin outhit Hempfield, 12-8, but committed three errors to two for the Spartans.
Tubbs yielded six hits, struck out five and walked two — one intentionally — for Hempfield.
Norwin starter Noah Smith, a Mount St. Mary's (Md.) recruit, pitched seven innings, giving up six hits. He struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.
Hempfield's go-ahead, two-run rally in the eighth against Amendola began when Livengood singled with one out. After Amendola got Loucks to fly out to left, Mori drove a pitch over the left-field fence to give the Spartans their two-run cushion.
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.
- Penguins GM insists coach Johnston was no afterthought
- Pirates down Cardinals, inch closer in wild-card chase
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- URA drops Philly developer, cites delays on Garden Theater block project
- Minor league notes: Baseball vagabonds improve stock with strong seasons
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen returns to starting lineup; Alvarez out
- Duquesne will open A-10 play on national television
- Social media firms walk fine line with jihadists
- No injuries in Greensburg-Salem school bus accident in Murrysville
- Foundations reject overture from developer on August Wilson Center
- Pittsburgh sues Perry South man to force him to clean house of filth