Tigers topple Titans in extra innings on Mancuso’s Walk-Off Single

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by Steve Heckmann

Freshman J.J. Mancuso‘s walk-off base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted North Allegheny to a 4-3 extra-inning win over Shaler in a non-section contest.

Last year’s PIAA Class 5A state champion Shaler Titans visited North Allegheny on Thursday night to renew a neighborhood rivalry. Shaler wasted no time as leadoff batter Brady McGuire tripled off of NA starting pitcher Nico Varlotta to center field to start the game. Shaler’s next batter Joe Rispoli brought him home on a fielder’s choice to second baseman Miles Pealer for the game’s first run. Shaler’s third batter, Chase Beran walked and then advanced to third base on a Brady Alexander single to left field.  An ensuing wild pitch brought Beran home for a 2-0 lead.

It appeared that the Tigers were going to roar back in the bottom of the first with a lead-off single by Matthew Pearreaguirre and Owen Schall getting hit by a pitch, to give N.A. baserunners on first and second with no outs.  However, a strikeout, an ensuing fielder’s choice, eliminating Schall from second base and a ground out to shortstop quelled the Tigers’ first-inning rally.

Some stellar pitching and defensive plays by both teams dominated the second and third innings but the Tigers scored two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Augie Maslo and Charles Mau both drew walks. Maslo stole second base and both Maslo and Mau advance on a wild pitch to second and third. Pealer doubled to center field to bring home both runs and tie the game at 2 -2.

Shaler came back in the fifth when Brad McGuire walked and then advanced on an error on a pickoff throw from relief pitcher David Posey to first baseman Cole Hammer. McGuire then scored off a single from Chase Beran. Not to be outdone in their half of the inning, Schall singled, stole second and then scored on Varlotta’s single to left field, tying the game at 3-3.

The game remained scoreless despite the Tigers loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh.  In the bottom of the eighth, Maslo reached second on a throwing error. Mau was intentionally walked and Pealer reached base on an infield error by Shaler’s third baseman. With based loaded and no outs, Mancuso singled off the center field fence to bring home the winning run.

For his efforts on both baserunning and fielding, Augie Maslo was named the Wright Automotive Player of the game.

The Tigers’ record advances to 14-5 and Shaler ends their regular season at 15-5.

Line Score - Baseball vs. Shaler - 05/08/2024

Score by Innings12345678RHE
North Allegheny00021001491
WP - David Posey LP - Ben Yeckel