J.J. Mancuso’s First Career HR Highlights 5-4 Win Over Norwin

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The North Allegheny baseball team earned a third consecutive home victory to start the 2024 season with a 5-4 triumph over the Norwin Knights on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers built a 5-0 lead in the early innings and staved off a rally by the Knights in the late innings. The game was a rematch of last year’s WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinal and the Tigers once again prevailed over the Knights.

In the bottom of the first inning, a throwing error with two outs opened the door for the game’s first run. Junior Augie Maslo capitalized on the Norwin miscue and delivered a two-run single to score seniors David Posey and J.D. Costanzo for a 2-0 lead.

Following a leadoff single by senior Matthew Parreaguirre in the bottom of the second inning, freshman J.J. Mancuso made a spectacular debut by stroking a two-run homer on the first pitch of his first varsity at-bat and deposited the fly ball over the left field fence for a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers tacked on an insurance run in the third inning thanks another Norwin error. Junior Michael Hershberger tallied a one-out single and was substituted by courtesy runner Sean O’Donnell. The quick-footed O’Donnell scored later in the inning on a throwing error to increase the NA lead to 5-0.

Despite the fast start, North Allegheny pitchers walked 10 batters and hit two more to help spark a Norwin rally in the middle innings. In the top of the fourth inning, Keegan Carr posted an RBI and Will Griffiths was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to trim the NA lead to 5-2.

J.D. Costanzo pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn the save and Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

The Knights inched even closer in the fifth inning when an NA throwing error and a fielder’s choice RBI by Carr cut the Tigers advantage to 5-4. That’s when Costanzo was called out of the bullpen to douse the Norwin comeback. The southpaw struck out three batters in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the save. For his crucial efforts in the victory, Costanzo was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Reliever Cole Suba picked up the win for North Allegheny with one inning of relief. Starter Charles Mau went three scoreless frames on the bump but didn’t go the required four innings to qualify for the victory. Right hander Colin Moore also made an appearance out of the pen for the Tigers.

For Norwin, starting hurler Ethen Culbertson worked three innings and permitted five runs, just two earned, to suffer the loss. Reliever Brayden Wardzinski was impressive with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 3-0 on the season, while Norwin falls to 2-2 overall. The Tigers return to action on Tuesday for another non-section game at Plum.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Norwin - 03/28/2024

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny221000X581
WP - Cole Suba (1-0) LP - Ethen Culbertson SV - J.D. Costanzo (1)