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)