Leader Times roundup: Miller's hit lifts Kittanning baseball
Kittanning's baseball team nearly let one slip away, but Christian Miller's bat saved the day.
Miller hit a two-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to send Kittanning (2-7, 1-4) to its first Section 5-AAA win of the season Thursday afternoon, 8-7, over Valley (1-7, 0-5).
Mitch Pirhalla went 2 for 4, scored three times and was the winning pitcher. He almost didn't get a chance to finish the game after his throwing error helped Valley score five runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-6 lead.
“I almost pulled him,” Kittanning coach John Davis said. “(Pirhalla) said, ‘I want to finish the game,' and I said to him, ‘I want you to finish the game.' ”
Davis' confidence in Pirhalla, who only allowed two hits in the first six innings, paid off. Pirhalla got out of the inning, and he and Sam Kiebler scored the tying and winning runs on Miller's hit.
Liam Doms had a two-run double for the Wildcats in a five-run fifth inning.
Apollo-Ridge 9, Burrell 4 — Mitchell Johnston's two-run home run helped Apollo-Ridge (4-7, 1-3) score nine unanswered runs to get its first Section 3-AA win of the season and beat Burrell (2-6, 2-3) for the first time since 2006.
Delbert Brown allowed six hits on his way to the complete- game win. Sam Held had three hits for the Vikings, who did not have a hit through three innings.
Freeport 14, West Shamokin 2 —Jessica Kelley scattered six hits over seven innings to lead Freeport to a Section 3-AA win on the road.
Alexis Roenigk and Karlie Hill both had three hits for Freeport (7-3, 7-3), and Amanda Gomez had a triple and a double for the Yellowjackets.
Jen Notto had the only RBI, and Kelly Clowser had a triple for West Shamokin (2-8, 2-6).
Leechburg 12, St. Joseph 0 (5 inn.) — One day after throwing a perfect game, Kenzie Young threw a one-hitter and struck out 11 batters to beat visiting St. Joseph (2-6, 2-6) in a Section 3-A game.
Amber Stull had three hits, including two doubles, for Leechburg (8-1, 8-1).
Knoch 19, Kittanning 8 (9 inn.) — Bethany Hay and Codi Reed both hit grand slams in an 11-run ninth inning that sent Knoch (7-6, 3-4) to the Section 5-AAA win.
Nicole Johnson homered and had four hits for Kittanning (3-5, 3-5), which had a 7-2 lead after four innings.
Reed's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning put Knoch ahead, 8-7, but Kittanning tied the game when Nellie Toy drove in Tara Schall.
Apollo-Ridge 11, Valley 6 — Sammy Geracia had four hits and three RBI to lead Apollo-Ridge (3-6, 3-6) to a Section 3-AA road win.
Winning pitcher Mariah Laird settled in and threw the complete game after Valley (3-5, 3-5) scored four runs in the first. Dana Speranza doubled twice for Apollo-Ridge.
Lynch wins award —Freeport three-sport senior Brendan Lynch is one of four recipients of the WPIAL Scholar-Athlete Award. A standout in football, basketball and track, Lynch will receive a $5,000 scholarship and be honored at a luncheon May 20 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree.
Lynch, a 10-time letterwinner, will continue his football career at Case Western Reserve. Another Freeport senior, Ashley Sample, was a runner-up for the WPIAL award and will receive a $500 scholarship.