BP, Lebo finish tied behind Big Macs
Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon finished runner-up to Canon-McMillan in the Section 5-AAAA baseball standings. Each finished with a 7-3 record and each doffed their caps to the Big Macs.
“Any team that can run through the second half of this league and go undefeated at 5-0, absolutely earned the section championship,” said Lebo manager Patt McCloskey. “They are red hot right now.“
BP skipper Tony Fisher concurred. “Canon-Mac has a nice club. They are swinging the bats well right now.”
Despite dropping a 6-4 decision to playoff-bound Chartiers Valley in a non-league contest Monday at Purkey field, BP anticipates a post-season that could resemble the recent section race. Fisher predicts two of the three teams from the division will be on the same side of the playoff brackets. Since all three teams split their section clashes, “it will make for some good baseball if there is to be a rubber match” says Fisher.
As for themselves, the Hawks, who had been ranked in the top five all season, hope to play up to their potential in the playoffs.
“Our playoff expectation is to put forth our best effort,” Fisher said. “If we make pitches and make plays we will be successful. We hope this is where we will play our best baseball.”
BP played well in its section finale, blanking Brashear, 4-0. Corey Augenstein tossed a five-hitter. The sophomore struck out 11 and walked one. He is the strikeout leader on the staff with 46 Ks.
Tyler Grashoff (3-2) and Logan Corrigan (5-0) follow with 30 and 29 Ks. Luc Cox is 4-0 with 28 strikeouts and Dakota Forsyth is 1-0.
The Hawks scored twice in the fourth and sixth stanzas.
Ryan Dodson tripled home Logan Corrigan, who had singled, and David Lemley drove home Dodson, giving BP a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
Singles by Corey Lazor and Dakota Forsyth coupled with a double by Lemley accounted for the runs in the sixth.
Lemley leads BP in RBI while Ryan Kogler has scored the most runs. Corrigan leads the team in hitting with a .482 average while Forsyth has the highest on-base percentage at .556. Dodson, Lemley and Zac Forsyth are all batting over .400 while Kogler, Dakota Forsyth, Lazor and Jake McCall are at .350 or better.
BP and CM are teams to watch in the playoffs concedes McCloskey.
“They are both very strong and well-rounded teams,” he said. “Each of them has the potential to compete for a championship. Bethel has good pitching depth, plays good defense and has a very balanced lineup.”
Despite their 8-9 overall record, the Blue Devils have the potential to knock off higher seeded squads in the playoffs. They certainly have experienced the pressure of close contest. Seven of their section games have been decided by one or two runs.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way that our team competed in tight games,” McCloskey said. “I hope that experience has prepared them for the playoffs, where it’s a single-elimination tournament.
“Now, that we are in the playoffs, it literally applies. There are a lot of really good teams out there,” McCloskey continued. “We will have to play at our very best in all facets of the game in order to be competitive. We are looking forward to the opportunity to continue our season and represent our section in the playoffs.”
Zach Bahm represents Lebo’s best chance to win on the mound. He enters the playoffs with a 5-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and 37 strikeouts. Austin Kitchen, Austin Eaton and Robert Klinchock each have wins for Lebo while Terry Halligan has a save.
Klinchock is also Lebo’s top offensive threat with his .421 batting average. He leads the team with 11 RBI followed by Bahm with 10.
Vince D’orazio (.373 with 13 runs scored), Brendan Depp (.323), Matt McGraw (.317) and Darren Zaslau (.316) are Lebo’s other offensive weapons.