No. 10 West Allegheny baseball earns spot in WPIAL Class AAA final
Behind some timely two-out hitting and strong pitching, No. 10 West Allegheny (17-4) downed Hampton, 3-1, in a WPIAL Class AAA semifinal matchup Friday at West Mifflin.
West Allegheny got on the board first in the second inning as Nick Wiethorn's two-out double brought home Nic Daigle. After Hampton tied the game in the third on a Zach Staszak RBI groundout, the Indians broke the game open in the fourth.
After Hampton's Luke Nugent committed an error that would have ended the inning, West Allegheny starting pitcher Colin Claus helped his own cause with an RBI double. Wiethorn followed with his second double of the game to push the score to 3-1.
“To get the runner in scoring position, we got two outs and we get a stolen base and then Nick Wiethorn comes up and pokes that first one to left field. … A courtesy runner scored twice tonight so it's one of things that you get the guys in and everyone contributes, everyone knows their role,” West Allegheny coach Bryan Cornell said.
Claus allowed six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 5 1⁄3 innings and went 2 for 3.
West Allegheny advances to the WPIAL championship game against Blackhawk at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Consol Energy Park. The Indians split a pair of matchups with Blackhawk this season, losing the first game 10-0 before winning 2-1 earlier this month.
No. 3 Hampton (13-8) was led by pitcher/third baseman Ben Vey who went five innings, giving up three runs (one earned) and seven hits. Vey also singled while Tyler Iversen went 2 for 3 with a double.
The Talbots will face West Mifflin in the consolation game Wednesday at Washington & Jefferson, with the winner earning a bid to the PIAA tournament.
“We've still got games left,” Hampton coach Gary Wilson said. “We've got to recover and go from there. We have to regroup a little bit, get our heads back on straight.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.