Laurel Highlands grabbed a late win against the Greater Latrobe baseball team, 6-5, during an exhibition game played Friday at Graham-Sobota Field.
Laurel Highlands scored a run in the top of the first, but the Wildcats put up five of the next six for a 5-2 lead through six innings. The Mustangs came through with a big four-run seventh inning for the eventual one-run victory.
Greater Latrobe fell to 8-8 overall. Nine of Greater Latrobe’s 16 games — five wins and four losses — have been decided by one or two runs. Seven of Greater Latrobe’s 16 games — three wins and four losses — have been decided in the sixth inning or later.
Logan Short paced the Wildcats at the plate with four hits, including two doubles, while Tucker Knupp contributed two hits, including a two-bagger, a run and three RBI. Landan Carns singled and scored, while Erik Batista doubled and drove in a run for the Wildcats, who produced five runs on nine hits.
Carns took the loss, allowing four earned runs on two hits with three strikeouts and four walks in an inning. Bobby Fetter gave up two runs, one earned, in the start, off seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk in six innings.
Alex McClain led Laurel Highlands offensively with three hits, including a double and a RBI, while Ty Sankovich singled three times and also drove in a run. Nick Kumor belted a home run and scored twice, while Lorenzo McFadden also came around two times for the Mustangs, who scored six runs on nine hits.
Joe Chambers was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs, two earned, on two hits with two strikeouts and zero walks in two innings. Kumor didn’t allow a run, giving up just three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in two innings. Carson Broadwater gave up two earned runs on four hits with two walks in three innings of relief.
Kumor started the game with a two-out, solo home run in the first inning. Greater Latrobe scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth when Carns led off the inning with a single and later stole home.
The Wildcats took the lead in the fifth inning, as Batista doubled home Knupp, who led off with a single. But Laurel Highlands tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth, as Chambers reached on an error, scoring McFadden.
The Wildcats jumped in front, 5-2, in the bottom of the sixth. Short singled, Chase Sickenberger reached on an error and Vinny Amatucci was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Knupp cleared the bases with his double to centerfield, giving the Wildcats a three-run lead.
The lead was short-lived, as Laurel Highlands won it in the seventh. McClain doubled home Jayce Hampe, who led off the inning with a walk. Sankovich drew a bases-loaded walk, making it 5-4, and Chambers produced the winning single, which plated McFadden and Braeden O’Brien.
Greater Latrobe is currently 4-4 in section play, following a two-game sweep of Kiski Area last week, in which the Wildcats outscored, 22-10, during the back-to-back set. The Wildcats currently hold down the fourth and final spot in section play, ahead of Kiski Area, which is 2-6 in the section and 4-8-1 overall.
Greater Latrobe seeks a return to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season when the Wildcats suffered a first-round loss against Chartiers Valley.
Greater Latrobe opened the season with five wins in its first seven games, but the Wildcats dropped five of six before last week’s section sweep of Kiski Area. Greater Latrobe started strong in section play with a sweep of McKeesport Area, but dropped section sets against Franklin Regional and Gateway, prior to the series win against Kiski Area.
Franklin Regional (8-0, 11-0) holds down the top spot in the section, while Penn-Trafford (6-2, 10-3) is second and Gateway is 4-4 in the section and 5-5 overall.
Greater Latrobe is scheduled to visit Penn-Trafford, 4 p.m. today. It’s the first of a critical back-to-back section set against the second-place Warriors, the Wildcats’ final two section games of the season. Kiski Area, which is chasing Greater Latrobe, has section games scheduled this week against first-place Franklin Regional.
L. Highlands Gr. Latrobe ab r h ab r h
Early 3 0 0 Short 4 0 4 McKnight 3 0 0 Sickenbrgr 4 1 0 Kumor 3 2 1 Amatucci 3 1 0 McClain 4 0 3 Knupp 3 1 2 Koffler 1 0 0 Petrosky 3 0 0 O’Brien 1 1 0 Batista 3 0 1 Sankovich 3 0 3 King 3 0 1 D’Amico 2 0 0 Carns 4 1 1 Hampe 0 1 0 Miele 1 0 0 Chambers 4 0 1 Clair 1 0 0 Gesk 2 0 1 Wilson 1 0 0 Fleszar 2 0 0 Krinock 0 1 0 Lemansky 2 0 0 Fetter 0 0 0 McFadden 0 2 0 Broadwtr 0 0 0
Totals 30 6 9 Totals 30 5 9L. Highlands 100 001 4 — 6 9 2Gr. Latrobe 000 113 0 — 5 9 2 Doubles: Short-2, Batista, Knupp (GL); McClain (LH) Home Run: Kumor (LH) Strikeouts by: Fetter-4, Carns-3 (GL); Kumor-3, Broadwater-0, Chambers-2 (LH) Base on balls by: Fetter-1, Carns-4 (GL); Kumor-2, Broadwater-2, Chambers-0 (LH) Winning pitcher: Joe Chambers Losing pitcher: Landan Carns