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Ringgold continues to find ways to win; clinches Sec. 2 tie

| Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Ringgold baseball coach Bill Callaway discovered Tuesday at Connellsville what it takes to score 16 runs on just eight hits.

"We drew nine walks while four others were hit by pitch," Callaway said.

The Rams (11-2, 9-1) cashed in on the multitude of base runners in a 16-4, five-inning defeat of the Falcons (7-10, 4-6) to clinch at least a tie for the Class AAA Sec. 2 title.

In the process, Ringgold swept the three-game season series with Connellsville.

Falcons' starter Chris Pepe lasted 3 1/3 innings after Ringgold scored eight runs in the fourth by sending 12 men to the plate.

Mike McCurry lined a two-run single and Jason Grant pounded a two-run double into the right-center gap in the frame - one of Ringgold's five doubles.

Catcher Pete Labrasca went 3-for-4 with two doubles and five RBI, Grant added three RBI and Joe Breiter went 2-for-2 with two RBI.

Lefty Matt Nelson (6-0) went four innings with five strikeouts to stay perfect on the season.

"We scored five runs in the fifth inning, but had only one hit," Callaway noted. "It's been something different every game."

Ringgold can capture the section title Thursday when it hosts second-place Albert Gallatin (10-3, 6-3). The Rams then finish section play at Uniontown on Monday.

In Class AA Section 5, Yough stayed in the playoff hunt while Elizabeth Forward handed Mt. Pleasant its first section loss.

EF springs upset

EF (7-6, 5-4) surprised the front-running Vikings at home, 3-1.

Warriors' pitching sensation J.J. Hoover pitched a two-hitter, whiffing 16 batters en route to the upset victory. Pat Martz doubled for Mt. Pleasant (9-4, 7-1).

Dustin Pickering's home run off losing pitcher Eric Brenun led EF's attack.

Yough on top

Yough (10-4, 5-3) won its fourth in a row with a 12-4 win at East Allegheny (4-8, 3-7), despite committing four errors.

Without the pitching services of 2003 Valley Independent Player of the Year Dan Fiore, who re-aggravated an elbow injury two weeks ago, Mike Sedunov (5-0) picked things up for the win. The junior is usually the starting catcher.

"The two things we weren't worried about at the beginning were pitching and defense," Odelli said. "We're averaging three errors a game and that doesn't count the mental mistakes. If Fiore ever wants to pitch again, he'll need Tommy John surgery."

The Cougar bats picked up the slack as Adam Portik went 4-for-4 while center fielder Chris Aldridge went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Yough on Thursday hosts Belle Vernon Area (5-7, 3-6), who got blasted, 15-1, at home by Derry Area (10-5, 7-3).

BVA gets rocked

Bob Reeping held the Leps to two hits while the Trojan bats pounded out 12 hits to hand Brian Green the loss.

With BVA leading 1-0, Derry stacked on eight runs in the third inning for the difference.

In Class AA Section 1, Charleroi Area's game versus McGuffey was canceled due to the local manhunt.

California stays hot

In Class A Section 7, California Area (14-2, 10-0) remained red-hot along with senior Parke Bongiorno.

The centerfielder's home run in the first inning provided more than enough offense in the Trojans' 8-0 win at home over Frazier (2-9, 0-8).

Andy Galis smacked two doubles while Jason Britton went 3-for-3 and winning pitcher Bryan Dunn struck out 11.

Wayne Lonce and Grant Gatalica both doubled for two of the Commodores' five hits.

Meanwhile, Bentworth (4-7, 3-6) dropped a 7-1 decision at Geibel (7-8. 5-5).

Bentworth bows

A.J. Bonazzoli tripled for one of the Bearcats' three hits off winning pitcher Jeff Baluch. Shaun Findlay took the loss for Bentworth.

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