By Matt Popchock
On Sunday, one of Mr. High School Sports’ favorite baseball movies was on: “Major League.” While he was thinking of those things, “The Scout,” another of his favorite baseball movies, sprung to mind. You might remember it as the one in which Brendan Fraser’s character strikes out every batter he faces in his major league debut.
Last week, something similar happened on the softball diamond, and it involved someone regarded by many as the premier hurler in the WPIAL. Speaking of historic occurrences, there was some history made at Riverside on the same day. Apparently, the softball program there isn’t the only one flourishing.
There were several other very impressive performances on the mound, not to mention a great one off the mound from one of the area’s rare three-sport studs.
Here is Mr. High School Sports’ “Diamond Dozen” for Week Three of the baseball/softball season, celebrating some of western PA’s scholastic stars:
Luke Hagy, Mount Lebanon – nine RBI, three runs scored, two home runs, and a triple in a 14-4 win over Canon-McMillan in Class AAAA Section 3 play Wednesday
Anthony Van Eman, Neshannock – 3-for-4, two home runs, five RBI in a 12-3 win over Rochester in Class A Section 3 play Thursday
Sam Mersing, Montour – perfect game, seven strikeouts in a 10-0 non-section, mercy-rule win (five innings) over McGuffey Wednesday
Russell Clark, Pine-Richland – two doubles, four RBI in a 6-1 win over North Allegheny in Class AAAA Section 1 play Thursday
Dan Oliastro, Riverside – 4-0 win over Beaver Falls in Class AA Section 5 play Thursday was 500th all-time as manager (43rd season with Panthers)
John Kutzfara, Elizabeth Forward – two home runs, four RBI in an 11-0 win over Mount Pleasant in Class AAA Section 2 play Thursday
Nicole Sleith, Yough – 21 strikeouts, one hit allowed in a 4-0 win over Laurel Highlands in Class AAA Section 4 play Thursday
Hope Pherson, Hempfield – six strikeouts, one hit allowed in a 4-1 win over Norwin in Class AAAA Section 1 play Wednesday
Emily Pritts, Riverside – 13 strikeouts in a 4-0 no-hit win over New Brighton in Class AA Section 5 play Thursday
Darcy Bostich, Bentworth – five strikeouts, three hits allowed in a 5-2 win over Waynesburg in Class AA Section 2 play Wednesday
Jess Rectenwald, North Hills – 10 strikeouts, solo home run, winning pitcher in a 6-5 win over Butler in Class AAAA Section 3 play Thursday
Jocelyn Gula, Mount Pleasant – 3-for-5, three RBI in an 11-1 win over East Allegheny in Class AA Section 4 play Wednesday
ON DECK: On Monday, Mr. High School Sports will travel to Moon High School, as the Tigers try to get back on their feet against defending WPIAL Class AAA champion Hopewell in a Section 1 contest. Hopewell pitcher Joe Kunzmann is coming off a five-hit shutout of Beaver in the Bobcats’ section opener.
IN THE HOLE: On Tuesday, Mr. High School Sports is headed up McKnight Road to Vincentian Academy, as the defending WPIAL champion Royals try to keep pace in Section 3 with Class A newcomer Sto-Rox. The Vikings have acquitted themselves well in their new surroundings early on, having allowed just one run in three District 7 contests.
For continuing coverage of WPIAL baseball and softball, be sure to check back with Mr. High School Sports throughout the 2011 season!