Sharpsville drops Seton LaSalle, 14-4
Shawn Valenly led the Blue Devils to victory in the Class AA opener.
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Remember the name Shawn Valenly because Seton LaSalle High's baseball team certainly will.
Valenly pitched and hit Sharpsville to a 14-4 win over the Rebels in the opening round of the PIAA Class AA baseball playoffs Monday at Critchfield Park.
The Blue Devils (20-2) will play the winner of today's Brookville-Riverside game on Thursday.
"If you follow our team, you know they are a resilient bunch of kids," said Sharpsville coach Kirk Scurpa. "We still have a bad taste in our mouth from the loss in the District 10 championship game of last year so there is not going to be any quit on this team."
After one state tournament win, Scurpa feels good about the team.
"I told the kids that the game of baseball is full of highs and lows so go out, play hard and have some fun," he said. "Right now, we are playing well in the field, we are hitting the ball well and we have a nice pitching staff."
Valenly worked the first four innings, allowing four hits and three runs, walking two and striking out seven. At the plate, the senior finished with three hits, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
"I have a blister on my finger and I struggled a little bit, but things worked out for us," said Valenly. "The blister hampered what I was able to do a little bit, but overall, I can't be disappointed with anything that happened today. When we got down by three runs, I wasn't the least bit concerned because there is no quit in this team."
After two scoreless innings, the Rebels (13-10) bunched together three hits and a walk to score three runs.
"He [Valenly] is resilient and fought through it," said Scurpa. "He gave up the three runs in four innings and I can't ask for much more than that from him.
"We feel that if we hold anybody to three or four runs, we are going win the game."
The Blue Devils scored four runs in the bottom of the third and added seven more in the fourth for a commanding 11-3 lead. Big hits in the third included a RBI triple by Josh Fyffe and a two-run homer to left by Valenly.
"I just look for a fastball every time and try to react to the curve," said Valenly. "He hung the curve right over the middle and I just tried to put it in play to get the runner in. As it turned out, I guess I got a little more than I asked for."
In the fourth, Jordan Cataldi singled and scored, Valenly rapped a RBI single just inside the line to left and Jarryd Summers drove in two runs with a triple to right-center.
Summers added three hits and a pair of RBIs.
"After they scored their three runs, they had that meltdown [defensively] and that certainly helped us," said Scurpa. "Then in the fourth inning, out bats came alive, we hit the ball pretty well and I think that put them back on their heels a little."
The Rebels closed out their scoring with a single run in the fifth before the Blue Devils scored three in the sixth.