NA Edged By Cedar Cliff In PIAA Quarterfinals, 2-1

Posted on:

The 2023 season came to close on Thursday afternoon for North Allegheny following a 2-1 loss to Cedar Cliff in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals at Mt. Aloysius College. In the first ever meeting between the two programs, North Allegheny led for much of the game but a two-run homer in bottom of the sixth allowed the District 3 champions to prevail.

The contest was a pitcher’s duel between two outstanding southpaws, North Allegheny’s J.D. Costanzo and Cedar Cliff’s Jordan Negley. Scoreless through two innings, the Tigers broke through for the game’s first run in the top of the third. Junior David Posey led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second base by sophomore Augie Maslo. Senior Harron Lee extended his on-base streak to seven consecutive games with a single, putting runners at the corners. Senior Drew Daugherty followed with a successful squeeze bunt to score Posey from third and the Tigers led, 1-0. The RBI was Daugherty’s ninth of the season.

Despite the early lead, Lee’s single in the third inning proved to be the last hit of the day for North Allegheny as Negley retired the next 14 consecutive batters.

On the other side of the ledger, Cedar Cliff managed very little against Costanzo, who racked up nine strikeouts on the day and silenced the Colts through five innings. Costanzo finished the season with 91 strikeouts, the third most in a single season in program history.

After posting only one hit against Costanzo in the first five innings, junior Sam Grube led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and senior Ayden Frey hit a two-run home run to right field that just snuck over the fence to give the Colts a stunning 2-1 lead. The long ball proved to be the game winner as the Tigers went down in order in the top of the seventh.

Negley tossed a complete game two-hitter, yielding only one run with one walk and two strikeouts to improve to 5-2 on the season. Costanzo was the hard-luck loser, going 5.1 innings with two runs allowed on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. Senior reliever Brett McSparran recorded the final two outs in the sixth innings when Costanzo was forced to leave due to pitch count.

North Allegheny’s season comes to an end with a 17-8 record, while Cedar Cliff improves to 20-6 and advances to the PIAA semifinals for just the second time in program history and will face WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon on Monday.

The NA seniors of Lee, Daugherty, McSparran, Anthony Varlotta, Cam Ward, Spencer Barnett, Tyler Opiela, Ian Zahorchak, Joseph Dejonckheere and Andrew Hart were named the Wright Automotive Players of the Game for four outstanding years wearing the black and gold.

Congratulations to head coach Andrew Heck and the entire North Allegheny baseball team for another memorable season. The Tigers qualified for the PIAA tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons and advanced to the state quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five campaigns.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Cedar Cliff - 06/08/2023

Score by Innings1234567RHE
North Allegheny0010000121
Cedar Cliff000002X240
WP - Jordan Negley (5-2) LP - J.D. Costanzo (6-4)