ShareThis Page
News

Bethel Park bounces Hempfield from playoffs

| Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hempfield scored first, but Bethel Park rallied in the fourth inning and defeated the Spartans, 7-2, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA baseball playoffs Friday at the John DiVirgilo Sports Complex in Rostraver Township.

"I give their pitcher, Andy Kountz, credit; he kept our guys off-balance," Hempfield coach Denny Little said. "I give (Bethel Park's) defense more credit; they were in the position to make the plays and they were ready. They played fundamental defense. "Seven-to-two is not a real big lead in a high school game. At any time, we could have come back."

Hempfield scored its first run without getting a hit. Patrick Kohl walked, moved to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on a balk. He scored on an error.

Bethel Park responded in the third inning. Jake Kalkbrenner hit a leadoff double down the third base line -- the first hit of the game for either team. Alex Tarr laid down a bunt single, moving Kalkbrenner to third. Kalkbrenner scored on a grounder to second base.

Matt Leviseur scored Bethel Park's next run on a passed ball in the top of the fourth.

"(Kountz) just battles. He's done it all year," Bethel Park coach Jim Rider. "He battles and he keeps the other team off-balance. He keeps us in ball games."

In the bottom of the fourth, Kyle McCullough hit a two-out double for Hempfield. Alex Naggy flew out to end the inning.

Bethel Park scored four of its seven runs in the fifth inning. Jimmy Meyer led off with a bunt single. Dan Cybulski hit a double to center field. Leviseur doubled to drive in both runners.

After Naggy relieved Hempfield starting pitcher John Veach-Dixon, Leviseur moved to third on a wild pitch. Naggy walked Matt Carson and got Ed Kessler out on a pop up to right field, then walked Kalkbrenner. Tarr delivered a two-run single to give Bethel Park a 5-1 lead.

"We relaxed a little bit and we had some base runners, and our guys brought them in," Rider said. "And that was big."

Greg Meisner had a run-scoring single for Hempfield in the fifth, but Bethel Park added an insurance run in the top of the sixth.

"Meisner, of course, had some offense for us, and (Steve) Bills had some good at bats," Little said. "With our batting lineup, you never know what's going to happen.

"Kyle McCullough, our eight hitter, had a big double. These are tough kids that aren't going to go down easy; even in the last inning we went down swinging."

"That is pretty much our team; everyone picks each other up," Rider said. "It's a true team; there are no great superstars. It's different guys in each game that step up. It's nice."

Bethel Park moves on to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs, facing Section 3 rival Canon-McMillan.

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.

click me