Baseball: La Salle, Neumann-Goretti triumph in quarters

LAURENDALE, Pa. - On Friday, in a PIAA state quarterfinal doubleheader that was delayed a day because of rain, the Catholic League made it a clean sweep at Muhlenberg High, just outside Reading.

In a thrilling Class AAAA nightcap, La Salle packed most of its scoring into the final three innings and, with a one-out sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, nipped District 3's Central Dauphin, 7-6.

First, in Class AAA, in the resumption of a contest suspended in the fourth inning Thursday, Neumann-Goretti jumped on District 11's Blue Mountain for six runs and easily triumphed, 9-2.

The Explorers, who overcame deficits of 2-0 and 5-3, prevailed when Ryan Otis plated pinch-runner Marcus Sistrun with a fly to left field.

"Going into the bottom of the inning, with the score tied, we liked our chances," La Salle skipper Joe Parisi said.

On Monday, at Spring-Ford High in Royersford, the Explorers will clash with Hatboro-Horsham, of District 1, in a noon semifinal. That will be followed, at about 3 p.m., with N-G's semifinal meeting against District 3 titlist Lampeter-Strasburg.

In the sixth for La Salle, junior first baseman Chris Melillo (3 for 4, four RBIs) ripped a three-run triple to center to give La Salle a 6-5 edge. "It was a first-pitch curveball," he said. "On that at-bat, I was looking to be pretty aggressive."

A two-run fifth was highlighted by Colin Pyne's RBI single and Tyler Kozeniewski's RBI triple off the right-field fence.

Because catcher and Red Division MVP Corey Baiada[CQ] was sidelined with the flu, Parisi had to shake up the lineup. Christian Bruno took over behind the plate, and handled three pitchers.

N-G, which loaded the bases before leaving Thursday, immediately broke open a 2-2 tie. Josh Ockimey, a sophomore first baseman, highlighted the fourth-inning explosion with a three-run blast to right-center field.

"I was confident that we were going to score some runs on them," N-G coach Mike Zolk said. "We wanted to be aggressive right away, especially on the bases."

Marty Venafro started things with a run-scoring sacrifice fly to center. After Ockimey's shot, Jimmy Kerrigan (double to left) and Joe Kinee (hit by pitch) scored on errors to make it 8-2.

-Rick O'Brien

Central Dauphin 200 003 1-6 10 1
La Salle 001 023 1-7 10 0
WP: Mike Piscopo. LP: Jared Lydon. 2B: CD-Conner Anderson; LS-Piscopo. 3B: CD-A.J. Aull, Blake Lazur; LS-Chris Melillo, Tyler Kozeniewski.

Blue Mountain 001 100 0-2 4 3
Neumann-Goretti 002 610 X-9 8 1
WP: John LaMotta. LP: Scott Snyder. 2B: NG-Joey Gorman, Jimmy Kerrigan. HR: NG-Josh Ockimey.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments
Continue Reading