Seneca Valley upsets No. 1 seed Hempfield
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Seneca Valley baseball coach Eric Semega knew there was no pressure on his team in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs on Monday.
That's because the Raiders, the 2013 WPIAL runners-up, dropped three of their last four games and limped into the playoffs seeded No. 16 with a 6-11 record.
They proved anything can happen in the playoffs.
Right fielder Vince Augustine drove in five runs to lead Seneca Valley to a 10-5 upset of No. 1 Hempfield on Friday at West Mifflin.
“All we wanted was a chance to play in the playoffs,” Semega said. “I felt the Class AAAA race was wide open. We came in loose and had nothing to lose. Jumping out to a lead put all the pressure on Hempfield.”
Seneca Valley will play Shaler, which defeated Central Catholic, in the quarterfinals noon Saturday at Fox Chapel.
Augustine had two hits, including a three-run home run in the fourth, as Seneca Valley scored at least one run in the first four innings off Hempfield's Tyler Tubbs.
Seneca Valley (7-11) used its running game in the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. John Harper walked, stole second and scored on Johnny Brittner's single. Brittner then stole second and scored on Augustine's ground out.
“I could tell in the first inning that they were swinging the bats well and that we needed to score with them,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said. “We had our chances, we just needed a big hit and we didn't get it. We had some good at-bats.”
Hempfield (16-4) tied the score 2-2 in the top of the second when Matt Tarabek, who singled, scored on an error and Joey Hoffner, running for catcher Tyler Hensler, scored on a bases-loaded walk to Dom Mori.
Seneca Valley took the lead for good in the second when catcher John Davis hit a solo home run.
“We battled injuries all season,” Augustine said. “But we had enough experience returning that we knew how to win. We pitched them inside and the pitchers did a good job keeping them off balance, and we were able to play our game offensively.”
Semega replaced starting pitcher Branden Schlick in the third inning with left-hander Troy Martin. He blanked Hempfield into the seventh when he was replaced after a one-out walk.
“We hadn't had a pitcher throw a 1-2-3 inning the last four games,” Semega said. “Troy gave us a solid effort.”
Seneca Valley chased Tubbs after the third inning by scoring four runs on four hits. The Raiders tacked on three more in the fourth inning thanks to Augustine's three-run home run over the center-field fence.
“Tyler didn't have his best game,” Buzzard said. “Seneca Valley swung the bats really well. It took him a couple innings to settle and he fell behind a couple batters and they took advantage of some things.”
Brittner had four hits for the Raiders, the only team from Section 1 to advance.
Martin held Hempfield to one run over 4 1⁄3 innings to earn the victory. He allowed two hits and two walks.
Tarabek had two hits, including a three-run home run in the top of the seventh for Hempfield. Jeff Livengood also had two hits.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
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.
- Thousands in Spain protest ban on demonstrations, burning national flag
- Police break up large crowd at shooting scene in Homewood
- Pitt set to hire Michigan State’s Narduzzi as coach
- Former Army Ranger learns Steelers Way
- Starkey: Steelers have only one goal
- Pittsburgh police believe man’s death related to attack on girls
- Technology initiative enables Pitcairn youth to receive free 3D-printing lessons
- Ex-Steeler Russell tackles big problem for little ones
- English police exasperated by silly, but amusing, situations
- Steelers notebook: LeBeau says Timmons deserving of accolades
- Road rage captured on cellphone camera