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2023-2024 Game Summaries

NA Falls To Wilson In Pitcher’s Duel In PIAA 1st Round, 2-0

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In the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the diamond, the North Allegheny baseball team was edged by the Wilson Bulldogs in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs, 2-0. Senior left-hander Matt VanOstenbridge tossed a complete game one-hitter to propel the visiting Bulldogs into the state quarterfinals for just the third time in program history.

Making a sixth appearance in the PIAA tournament in the last seven seasons, North Allegheny was coming off a historic pitching performance by David Posey with a no-hitter in the WPIAL Class 6A championship game last week. Trying to build on that outing was junior right-hander and West Virginia University commit, Nico Varlotta. Dueling with VanOstenbridge throughout the afternoon, Varlotta yielded no runs over the first six innings of the game and one point retired 10 batters in a row from the third inning into the sixth.

In the top of the sixth, an error, a single by Nick Fiorini, and a walk loaded up the bases for Wilson with just one out. Varlotta wiggled out of the jam by inducing a lineout double play off the bat of VanOstenbridge to end the inning and the game remained scoreless.

With a combined five hits between the two teams through six innings, Wilson was finally able to break through against NA in the top of the seventh. A one-out double by Ryan Marmolejos and a walk by C.J. Fernandez sparked an uprising and drew the pitch-count limit for Varlotta, prompting his exit from the contest. Senior southpaw Charles Mau entered the game on the bump, and after a balk moved the runners to second and third, the Penn State University commit stuck out Tommy Hunsicker for the inning’s second out. While it appeared NA might escape another sticky situation, a walk by Jack Gabel loaded the bases and junior Christo Hunsicker delivered a two-run single to give Wilson a 2-0 lead.

The two-run advantage was more than enough for VanOstenbridge who capped his one-hitter with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. The Penn State University commit struck out six and allowed only five base runners on the afternoon to improve to 7-1 on the season. Varlotta was the hard-luck losing pitcher, falling to 1-1 on the year despite working 6.1 quality innings.

The 2024 senior class for NA baseball.

The NA senior class of Posey, Mau, Owen Schall, Matthew Parreaguirre, Cole Suba, Andrew Dixon, J.D. Costanzo, Greg Schmidt, Connor Fadgen and Cole Hammer were named the Wright Automotive Players of the Game. The seniors were key figures in the Tigers’ run to a ninth WPIAL championship this season.

North Allegheny’s season comes to a close with a 17-7 overall record, while Wilson improves to 16-7 and advances to the PIAA quarterfinals. Congratulations to North Allegheny head coach Andrew Heck and the entire baseball team for a memorable 2024 season.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Wilson - 06/03/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0000000012
WP - Matt VanOstenbridge(7-1) LP - Nico Varlotta (1-1)

NA Wins 9th WPIAL Crown On Stength Of No-Hitter By David Posey

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A season ago in the WPIAL Class 6A championship, Mt. Lebanon left-handed pitcher David Shields threw a no-hitter against North Allegheny to secure a 4-0 win for the Blue Devils. In a title game rematch on Wednesday night at Wild Things Park, it was North Allegheny’s David Posey who returned the favor against Mt. Lebanon with a no-hitter of his own to lead the Tigers to a 1-0 win. The victory marked the Tigers’ ninth WPIAL championship and second district crown in the last four seasons. North Allegheny is the first school in WPIAL history to win nine district titles in baseball.

The NA right-hander and U.S. Naval Academy commit struck out 11 batters and limited the Blue Devils to just four base runners for the entire night. For his efforts, Posey was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Projected as a pitcher’s duel before the game began, Posey matched up against Shields, a University of Miami commit who is projected as a second or third-round draft pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft.

Mason Smith’s solo HR in the 3rd inning provided the only run of the game.

While Shields didn’t give up much and was also impressive with 11 strikeouts, it was one fortuitous bounce for the Tigers that proved to be the difference in the ballgame. In the top of the third inning, junior Mason Smith clubbed a deep fly ball to left field that deflected off the glove or upper body of outfielder Sawyer Klasnick and over the fence for a home run. The home run, the first of Smith’s varsity career, gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, a dazzling defensive play by third baseman Owen Schall helped keep Posey’s no-hitter intact and the Tigers maintained their one-run lead deep into the night. The biggest jam for Posey came in the bottom of the sixth inning following back-to-back walks by Shields and freshman Graham Keen. With two runners on and two outs, Posey induced a pop-up by Jake Tinnemeyer to thwart the threat and the Blue Devils remained scoreless.

David Posey throws a no-hitter in the 2024 WPIAL Class 6A championship game.

After pitching out of a sticky situation in the sixth, there were no such dramatics in the bottom of the seventh. Posey retired the Blues Devils in order in the final frame, including back-to-back strikeouts to cap the 11th no-hitter in North Allegheny history. It was the first no-hitter since Nico Varlotta tossed a no-no against Allderdice last season on April 20, 2023. The Posey no-hitter was also just the sixth in a WPIAL championship game since 1940. For an official box score from the WPIAL championship, click here.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 17-6 overall and Mt. Lebanon slips to 18-5 on the season. Both teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs next week. The Tigers will host Wilson, the third-place finisher out of District 3, on Monday in the opening round of states. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

(Below are highlights of the WPIAL Class 6A championship edited by Jared Barton with video courtesy of the NFHS Network. Audio courtesy of the North Allegheny Sports Network with broadcasters Randy Gore and Lee Mohn).

Line Score - Baseball vs. Mt. Lebanon - 05/29/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0010000151
Mt. Lebanon0000000000
WP - David Posey (7-0) LP - David Shields (5-1)

Tigers Win Extra-Inning Thriller Over Rival Rams In WPIAL Semifinals, 5-4

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North Allegheny trailed most of the night but rallied to tie the game in the seventh and prevailed in eight innings, 5-4, over rival Pine-Richland in the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals at Boyce Mayview Park on Tuesday night. Junior Michael Hershberger‘s pinch-hit two-run single in the top of the eighth inning provided the winning margin for the Tigers, who advance to the WPIAL championship game next week.

In the regular season, Pine-Richland took two out of three games against North Allegheny to win the Section 1-6A title. All three regular-season games were decided by two runs or less, with the Rams winning the section crown in walk-off fashion in the rubber match of the series. Tuesday’s playoff contest proved to be another nail-biter between the neighborhood rivals.

In their first playoff meeting since North Allegheny defeated Pine-Richland in the 2019 PIAA quarterfinals, 4-1, at La Roche University, the Rams struck first in the bottom of the first inning. With runners at the corners, junior Anthony Mengine raced home from third base on a passed ball to give PR a 1-0 lead.

North Allegheny answered back in the top of the second inning when senior catcher Andrew Dixon drove in junior Miles Pealer with a sacrifice fly to knot the score at 1-1.

Starting pitcher Nico Varlotta worked six innings and struck out six batters.

The deadlock didn’t last long as Anthony Annichine’s RBI single and a fielder’s choice RBI by Mengine in the bottom of the second inning propelled the Rams to a 3-1 advantage. Pine-Richland threatened for more with the bases loaded and one out, but a mound visit by head coach Andrew Heck with starting pitcher Nico Varlotta proved to be the turning point in the contest. The WVU commit, who had walked four batters to that point in the game, buckled down and induced an inning-ending double play to limit the damage to a two-run frame for the Rams.

From that point on, Varlotta didn’t allow another hit over the next four innings and struck out six batters to keep North Allegheny within striking distance.

With Varlotta holding PR at bay, the Tigers began to chip away. In the top of the fourth inning, Pealer led off with a single and scored later in the inning on an RBI double by Dixon, trimming the deficit to 3-2. Pealer reached base three times with a 2-for-3 performance with a double, a walk and three runs scored. Dixon went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

With Pine-Richland starting pitcher Reece Rupert scuffling in the first four innings, the Rams turned to the bullpen and hard-throwing lefthander Tyler Vogel. The southpaw tossed three scoreless innings of relief before the Tigers were able to finally break through in the top of the seventh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Varlotta drove a line drive through the right side of the infield for a game-tying RBI single to score Carter Boehm and the game was deadlocked at 3-3.

After the Rams went scoreless in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Cole Suba, North Allegheny surged ahead for the first time in the top of the eighth inning. With runners at second and third and one out, Hershberger was asked to pinch hit and delivered a clutch two-run single to give the Tigers a 5-3 advantage. For his timely and heroic base hit, Hershberger was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Cole Suba celebrates his game-ending strikeout to advance the Tigers into the WPIAL championship game.

In the bottom of the eighth, Pine-Richland capitalized on a leadoff error and cut the NA lead to 5-4 thanks to a one-out RBI single by Sam Heckert. Suba, a Penn State Altoona commit, secured the victory by striking out Annichine with runners at first and second for the game’s final out, and the Tigers hung on for a 5-4 victory.

Suba was the winning pitcher, allowing only one unearned run in two innings of relief. Vogel took the loss for Pine-Richland, surrendering three runs in five innings out of the bullpen.

North Allegheny improves to 16-6 overall, while Pine-Richland’s season ends with a 17-5 mark. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL championship game to face Mt. Lebanon in a rematch of last year’s title tilt. The game can be heard live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Pine-Richland - 05/21/2024

Score by Innings12345678RHE
North Allegheny010100125112
WP - Cole Suba (4-1) LP - Tyler Vogel (2-2)

Posey Twirls Gem To Lead NA Past Norwin in WPIAL Quarterfinals

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Senior right-hander David Posey pitched six innings of one-hit baseball to lead third-seeded North Allegheny to a 3-0 victory over the sixth-seeded Norwin Knights in the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals. The U.S. Naval Academy commit struck out 10 batters and the only hit he allowed was a harmless infield single in the third inning. Posey also drove in a pair of runs to easily earn Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Matthew Parreaguirre scores the game’s first run against Norwin in the first inning.

All of the game’s run-scoring came in the bottom of the first inning as seniors Matthew Parreaguirre and Owen Schall set the table for NA with back-to-back singles. With one out, junior Nico Varlotta bounced a ground ball to second that was booted by Norwin’s Tristyn Tavares, allowing Parreaguirre to score for a 1-0 lead. Posey followed with a two-run double to deep centerfield to plate Schall and Varlotta for a 3-0 advantage.

The three-run first inning was all the run support Posey needed in a masterful performance on the bump. The only sticky situation for Posey occurred in the third inning when Nate Silberman reached on a two-out RBI single and back-to-back walks by Nolan Ryan and Brayden Wardzinski loaded up the bases. Posey buckled down to strikeout Will Griffiths and Norwin’s biggest threat of the game was thwarted.

From there, Posey cruised until he reached the 105-pitch count limit following his 10th strikeout, which capped a 1-2-3 sixth inning. In the seventh, Penn State University commit, Charles Mau, pitched a scoreless frame to pick up his first save of the season.

For Norwin, Ethan Culbertson was the hard-luck loser against North Allegheny in the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Identical to last year’s 3-0 playoff defeat at the hands of the Tigers, Culbertson pitched a complete game and was saddled with the loss despite a strong pitching performance. He allowed three runs (two earned) with five strikeouts and one walk. After NA’s three-run first inning, Culbertson yielded only three hits for the remainder of the game.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 15-6 overall, while Norwin’s season ends with a 10-10 record. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals to face section rival Pine-Richland at 7:00 p.m. at Boyce Mayview Park. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Norwin - 05/20/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny300000X360
WP - David Posey (6-0) LP - Ethan Culbertson SV - Charles Mau (1)

NA Falls To Penn-Trafford in Regular Season Finale

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In a battle between two playoff-bound teams in Class 6A and Class 5A, respectively, North Allegheny dropped a 6-2 decision at Penn-Trafford on Friday afternoon in the regular season finale.

Trailing 2-0 after one inning, the Tigers tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second thanks to a two-run homer by junior Nico Varlotta. However, two-run innings by the Warriors in the third and fourth innings propelled PT to a 6-2 win. Ethan Septak drove in four runs to pace Penn-Trafford and Jason Sabol went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Penn-Trafford pitchers scattered six hits as Dom Delio went three innings in relief for the win, striking out four batters. Junior Jackson Walsh suffered the loss for North Allegheny, allowing all six runs (four earned) in four innings on the bump. Senior Charles Mau tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

With the loss, North Allegheny falls to 14-6 overall, while Penn-Trafford improves to 16-3. The Tigers will take on Norwin on Monday, May 20 at a site and time to be determined in the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Penn-Trafford - 05/10/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0200000262
WP - Dom Delio, LP - Jackson Walsh