A late comeback bid fell short, as Valley was able to edge out the Derry Area baseball team, 3-2, during a WPIAL Class 3A, Section 3 game played Tuesday at Valley.
Valley (1-0, 4-1) scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the third and the Trojans (0-1, 0-1) evened the score, 1-1 through five innings. Valley scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, and the Trojans put up a run in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t complete the comeback to force extra innings.
Derry Area had to wait until Tuesday for its season opener, as athletics were canceled during a late-March weekend because of a rash of coronavirus cases. The Trojans were scheduled to face Baldwin and Greater Latrobe at Greater Latrobe during that season-opening weekend.
Derry Area is back in action, 4 p.m. today for the Trojans’ home opener against Valley in the second game of the back-to-back set against the Vikings. The WPIAL previously agreed to play section games on back-to-back days.
Elijah Penich belted a home run, while Lucas Ray added a double and Jaden Jackson scored in Derry Area’s season-opener. Antonio Hauser, Josh Ulery and Ryan Hood also singled for the Trojans, who produced two runs on five hits in defeat.
Paul Koontz worked four innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Ulery took the loss, giving up two earned runs on two hits with a strikeout and a walk in two innings.
John Luke Bailey earned the win for Valley, as he pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Cayden Quinn led the Valley offense with two singles and a run, while Javon Keys doubled and scored. Shane Demhalter also doubled, while Luke Caprino, Bailey and Matteo Jergerio also added hits, as Valley put up three runs on seven hits.
Keys started the third inning with a double, stole third and scored the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly.
Hood and Penich drew walks in two of the Trojans’ first three at bats of the fifth. Ray brought home Jackson, a pinch runner, with a double. A fly out and a line out ended the threat with the bases loaded.
Valley scored the eventual winning runs in the sixth inning. Quinn singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Jacob Stacaniec drew a walk, and Demhalter drove in two runs – Quinn and Stacaniec – to give Valley a 3-1 lead.
Penich belted a one-out home run to left field, but a pair of ground outs ended the game, allowing Valley to hold on for the one-run win.
Derry Area Valley ab r h ab r h
Hauser 4 0 1 Aftanac 2 0 0 Bushey 2 0 0 Quinn 3 1 2 Ulery 3 0 1 Caprino 1 0 1 Jones 3 0 0 Bailey 1 0 1 Mickinac 2 0 0 Stacnic 2 1 0 Jackson 0 1 0 Jergerio 3 0 1 Hood 2 0 1 Demhlter 2 0 1 McDowell 3 0 0 Kelley 2 0 0 Penich 2 1 1 Veskeio 2 0 0 Ray 3 0 1 Keys 2 1 1 Beighley 0 0 0 Danko 0 0 0 Koontz 0 0 0
Totals 24 2 5 Totals 20 3 7Derry Area 000 010 1 — 2 5 1Valley 001 002 x — 3 7 0 Doubles: Ray (DA); Demhalter, Keys (V) Home Run: Penich (DA) Strikeouts by: Koontz-2, Ulery-1 (DA); Bailey-5, Aftanac-0 (V) Base on balls by: Koontz-1, Ulery-1 (DA); Bailey-3, Aftanac-0 (V) Winning pitcher: John Luke Bailey Losing pitcher: Josh Ulery