Murrysville used the long ball to finish off Derry, 8-4, during Game 2 of their Westmoreland County American League Baseball (WCALB) quarterfinal-round playoff series on Tuesday at Sloan Field in Blairsville.
No. 2 Murrysville swept the best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series, 2-0, against No. 7 Derry and advanced to the WCALB semifinals, which begin on Friday. Murrysville defeated Derry, 7-4, during Game 1 of their WCALB playoff series on Monday to grab an initial lead in the series before ending the best-of-three set on Tuesday.
Two other WCALB playoff series are still taking place, as No. 3 Bushy Run and No. 6 Young Township, along with No. 4 Hempfield East and No. 5 Yough both needed a deciding Game 3 tonight. Murrysville will face either Bushy Run, Hempfield East or Yough in the semifinals, pending tonight’s results.
Murrysville edged out Derry, 2-0, on June 28 at Haymaker Park. Derry earned a forfeit victory against Murrysville last week, as the teams split the regular-season series. Murrysville outscored Derry 15-8 during the two-game playoff series.
Derry won three of four games early in July, earning victories against Bushy Run, Yough and Mount Pleasant, but the Eagles lost five of six overall to close the season. Derry fell against Mount Pleasant (6-3) on July 17 and suffered a 7-2 loss versus Yough on July 22. Derry earned its forfeit victory against Murrysville last week, but fell in the regular-season finale against Hempfield East, 12-2, on Friday at Hempfield Park, prior to consecutive playoff defeats on Monday and Tuesday against Murrysville.
Derry kept it close early on Tuesday, as the score was tied, 2-2, through three innings. But Luke Fisher blasted a two-run shot in the fourth to help Murrysville gain a 4-2 advantage. Murrysville added to the lead with two more runs in the fifth and another Fisher home run in the sixth to open a 7-2 lead before Derry scored twice in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Josh Ulery guided Derry offensively with three hits, including two doubles and a run scored, while Mason Seftas also added three hits, including a home run. Ryan Bushey singled three times and scored a run, while C.J. Ingmire singled twice. Hank Skirboll also doubled and scored for Derry, which produced four runs on 13 hits.
Fisher blasted two home runs to lead Murrysville at the plate, while Zach Miller provided three hits, including a home run, a double and three runs scored. Chris Pagano singled twice and scored, while Anthony Sciulli singled and scored. Jeff Downs also doubled for Murrysville, which scored eight runs on nine hits.
Matt Skelly earned the win, while Andrew Baker took the loss.
Murrysville opened the game with two runs in the top of the first, as Downs doubled and Miller belted a home run for an early 2-0 lead.
Derry responded, as Skirboll doubled and Bushey singled him to third. Ulery followed with a double that scored Skirboll, making it a 2-1 game. The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the third, 2-2, on a Seftas home run.
But Murrysville started to pull away in the fourth. Pagano singled and Fisher belted a two-run shot to give Murrysville a 4-2 lead.
Sciulli singled in the fifth and Miller advanced him to third with a base hit. Miller later stole second, and Henderson singled them both home, as Murrysville opened a 6-2 advantage. Fisher hit his second home run of the game in the top of the sixth to give Murrysville a 7-2 lead.
Derry closed the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Bushey singled and Blake Cecchini was inserted as a pinch runner. Ulery doubled Cecchini to third and Baker followed with a single that brought both runners home.
Derry Murrysville ab r h ab r h
Skirboll 4 1 1 Downs 4 1 0 Bushey 4 1 3 Helm 4 0 0 Ulery 4 1 3 Sciulli 4 1 1 Seftas 4 1 3 Miller 4 3 3 Baker 3 0 1 Bracic 4 0 1 Ingmire 4 0 2 Hendersn 3 0 0 McDowell 3 0 0 Pagano 4 1 2 Alesi 1 0 0 Fisher 3 2 2 Stump 0 0 0 Skelly 4 0 0 Furman 3 0 0
Totals 30 4 13 Totals 31 8 9Murrysville 200 221 1 — 8 9 2Derry 101 000 2 — 4 13 3 Doubles: Ulery-2, Skirboll (D); Downs, Miller (M) Home Run: Seftas (D); Fisher-2, Miller (M) Strikeouts by: Skelly-0 (M); Baker-0 (D) Base on balls by: Skelly-0 (M); Baker-0 (D) Winning pitcher: Matt Skelly Losing pitcher: Andrew Baker