Tigers Advance To WPIAL Championship, Rally To Beat Hempfield, 6-4
The North Allegheny Tigers punched their ticket to the Class 6A WPIAL Championship Game for the second straight year with a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Hempfield Spartans on Wednesday night at Boyce Mayview Park. The Tigers rallied from a 4-1 deficit with one run in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to claim the win.
Hempfield was vying for its first ever appearance in the WPIAL championship and built a three-run advantage through four innings by primarily cashing in on North Allegheny miscues. In all, the Tigers committed six errors and four of them directly aided the Spartans in their early-game efforts. Isaiah DiAndreth was another key contributor for Hempfield with a 3-for-4 performance, scoring two runs and driving home another with a double in the third inning.
North Allegheny starter Kevin Schott gave up three runs, two earned, during his two innings on the mound and was forced to exit due to injury in the third inning. Junior Anthony Hattrup (4-2) entered and ultimately earned the win with five strong innings of relief, allowing only one unearned run with seven strikeouts and no walks. For his efforts, Hattrup was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
The Tigers began to blaze a comeback trail in the fifth inning when Caiden Wood doubled home Ryan Dougherty to trim the Hempfield lead to 4-2. The Spartans had a chance to blow the game open in the bottom of the fifth with runners at the corners and nobody out. However, Hattrup induced a popup from Luke Hudson and stuck out Justin Wright. On the strikeout, Wright was also called for batter’s interference for impeding a throw from NA catcher C.J. Weller and the Hempfield threat was thwarted without any damage.
In the top of the sixth, North Allegheny made Hempfield pay for squandering its opportunity. Ben Surman, who entered the game in the second inning when centerfielder Turner White left the game with an injury, sparked the Tigers’ big inning with an one-out RBI triple to cut the score to 4-3, Spartans. Surman scored moments later on an RBI single by Luke Trueman and the game was tied, 4-4. An out later, Trueman stole second base and advanced to third on a ground ball by Justin Hamm that resulted in a Hempfield throwing error that put runners at the corners. The inning continued to unravel for the Spartans as an errant pick-off throw at first base brought home Trueman for a 5-4 North Allegheny lead. Wood, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, singled home Hamm for a 6-4 advantage.
Hempfield, who left seven runners stranded on the night, threatened in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings but couldn’t score as North Allegheny held on for a 6-4 win and another trip to the WPIAL Championship Game. Spartans reliever Tyler Dancu (0-1) suffered the loss in relief with 2.2 innings of work, allowing four runs with only one earned.
North Allegheny improves to 13-10 overall and will take on Canon-McMillan in the WPIAL championship on Wednesday night at Wild Things Park in Washington, PA. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. Hempfield’s season comes to a close with a 16-6 overall mark.
Baseball vs. Hempfield, 5-23-18
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