PAHS spring sports roundup: 4/16/09

Baseball: Port Allegany 15, Cameron County 4

Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning with a nine-run lead at frigid Moose Park, Port Allegany baseball coach Nate Zitnik called seniors Bryce Healy and Mark Larson over for a short conference before sending Healy to the plate to lead off the inning. The centerfielder promptly smacked a ground-rule double to the deepest part of the field, and Larson quickly followed with a two-run shot over the left-field fence to end the game via the “mercy rule,” giving the Gators a 15-4 victory over visiting Cameron County on Thursday afternoon.

You told them to hurry up and get the game over with, right, Coach?

Zitnik chuckled at the not-quite-serious question, then said, “Actually, to tell you the truth, I told them to treat this kind of like a title fight. You might be ahead on the scorecard, but if you let anyone hang around long enough, it can come back to bite you. We talked, and we figured now would be a good time to end it, and it just worked out that way. I have to give these guys credit; they’ve been clutch all year. That’s something you don’t teach – they’ve grown into it. That’s something I think we were missing a little last year, and now we have it, so I’ve been very happy about that.”

Larson led a Gator attack that pounded out 12 hits against Red Raider pitching, finishing the game 3-for-5 with 4 RBI, and junior first baseman Lucas Kline brought in another run on a 2-for-2 day. Sophomore pitcher Camrin Stuckey went four innings to earn the win, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out seven, before giving way to junior J.D. Haskins (one strikeout, one walk) for the final two frames.

“Camrin has really developed into a great No. 2,” Zitnik said. “With him and Larson, coach Bienkowski and I really feel like we’ve got a nice, solid 1-2 punch. We’ve been extremely happy. Even on a cold day, too, and the guys played solid defense behind him. It was a great team effort.”

On that theme, he continued, “We contributed all the way around. It’s hard to pick one guy and say he did a nice job, because everyone contributed. You can’t ask for more than that as a coach.”

Although Zitnik is obviously pleased by his team’s 4-0 start to the season, with games against a hot Oswayo Valley squad and always-tough Coudersport on the slate this week, he knows it’s far too early to start thinking about the long-term outlook.

“I keep telling these guys, ‘Take it one game at a time,’” he said. “We’re approaching it as, you show up, you do the right things, do the little things, pay attention to detail and focus, and good things will happen. Hopefully we continue to do that. We’ll see.”

At Port Allegany, 4/8:
CC 0 1 0 0 3 0 – 4 5 4
PA 3 8 2 0 0 2 – 15 13 1
Dom Manginell (2 SO, 6 BB), Jordan Garrigan (3) (2 SO, 1 BB), and Vince Summers, Manginell (3)
Camrin Stuckey (6 SO, 2 BB), J.D. Haskins (5) (1 SO, 1 BB) and Josh Guerrero, Zach Sigafoes (5)
HR: Kyle McManigle (CC), Mark Larson (PA)

Softball: Port Allegany 10, Cameron County 8

Weather woes postponed two of three scheduled games last week, but the Gators were successful in the one contest they did play, notching an 10-8 victory at Cameron County on Thursday afternoon to improve their record to 1-2.

“The girls played a great game,” coach Dave Roae said. “We cut down on our errors, and had some very timely hitting. I think we had 11 or 12 hits, and scored 10 runs, so the girls got hits when we needed them. We hit up and down the order; it was really nice to see.”

Kyley Mickle (2-for-3), Cora Bova (2-for-5, with a double), and Kris-Ann Raymo (2-for-5) helped power the Gator offense, while Sara Brodhun and Becky Andrus combined to pitch a five-hitter for the win.

Mother Nature permitting, Port returned to the diamond on Edison Bates Drive for a Tuesday afternoon game against visiting Oswayo Valley, and will travel to Coudersport on Thursday for a scheduled 4:15 p.m. start. Makeup dates for the postponed Austin and Bradford games have not been set.

Track: Port boys take second, girls third at Twin Tiers Invitational

April snows wiped out the dual meet against Oswayo Valley scheduled for last Tuesday, so the Gators hit the track for the first time this season at the Twin Tiers Invitational on Thursday evening. Head coach George Riley was pleased with his team’s performance at the meet hosted by OV at the Bolivar-Richburg facilities, calling it a “really, really good showing.”

While distance runner Jessica French (1600, 3200) and sprinter Josh Fox (400) captured the only individual victories for Port, an abundance of top-three finishes kept both teams in contention for the overall titles. The boys finished a strong second, 12 points behind Northern Potter, which set two meet records on the way to the win. Cowanesque Valley and Smethport each scored 116 points, breaking six more meet records, to split top honors in the girls’ meet.

“Overall, depth made a big difference,” said Riley, who added that he only took a partial squad to the event. Based on the positive results, he said, “I think we’re looking forward to an enjoyable, fun season.”

Although the Gators will compete against Oswayo Valley when they travel to Coudersport next week, Riley would still like to make up the postponed meet – one of just three home dates on the schedule – to give both schools’ athletes another chance to qualify for districts. This week, the team travels to Smethport on Thursday, then heads south to the Kane Invitational on Saturday morning.

“We did get to do a little scouting on Smethport (at the Twin Tiers event), to see what they had,” Riley said. “I think we’ll do okay … Hopefully the weather will be nice, and we’ll have some quality times.”

Close to 30 teams are expected to compete in Kane, giving the Gators a chance to go up against some of the best athletes in this part of the state.

“I can’t wait to see Tyree Bennett run the hurdles,” Riley said of Bradford High’s state-ranked senior. “Not knocking my guy Denzel (Middleton), but he’s 10 seconds faster than Denzel, and Denzel’s pretty good. It’s going to be phenomenal to watch him compete … You’re going to see some quality athletes, get a chance to watch this guy warm up, watch what he does to prepare.

“I think some of our kids will do well,” he continued. “With Jessica, I think this is an opportunity for her to excel. She went out in front in all her races (at the Twin Tiers meet) – even in the relay, she was out in front, and in the mile and two-mile, she was out in front and no one could touch her. So it will be nice to see her going against some kids who will maybe push her a little bit. Fox, too; he jumped out in front in the 400. This one will be a pretty quick race, but I think he’ll do okay.”

Twin Tiers Invitational at Bolivar-Richburg, 4/9:
Boys: Northern Potter 124, Port Allegany 112, Oswayo Valley 83, Eisenhower 78, Otto-Eldred 75, Bolivar-Richburg 74, Cowanesque Valley 71, Smethport 36.

Results involving Port Allegany athletes:
200: Poole (BR) :24.33, Ben Osani (PA) :25.15, Adam Greenman (PA) :25.47
400: Josh Fox (PA) :54.60, Zack Erway (NP) 55.43, Andrew Morgan (NP) :56.88
3200: Steven Kibbe (NP) 10:40.82 (MR), Tyler Payne (PA) 11:07.12, Brady Robinson (BR) 11:09.70
400 relay: Otto-Eldred :47.68, Port A :48.97, Cowanesque Valley :49.38
1,600 relay: Northern Potter 3:47.29 (MR), Eisenhower 3:50.11, Port A 3:50.71
3,200 relay: Oswayo Valley 9:23.51, Port A 9:36.57, Smethport 9:39.11
110 hurdles: Mark Beckwith (O-E) :18.06, Phil Chambers (BR) :18.06, Denzel Middleton (PA) :18.72
300 hurdles: Max Solis (NP) :45.18, John Honhart (E) :45.26, Middleton (PA) :47.48
shot put: Jacob Lane (CV) 45-0 ¾ (MR), Isadore (S) 39-10 ¾, Paul Woods (PA) 39-3
discus: Lane (CV) 130-3, Chris Fabish (PA) 105-8 ½, Jacob Kady (CV) 103-0 ½

Girls: Cowanesque Valley 116, Smethport 116, Port Allegany 91, Eisenhower 77, Bolivar-Richburg 71, Otto-Eldred 66, Northern Potter 54, Oswayo Valley 50.

Results involving Port Allegany athletes:
200: Karen Eick (CV) :27.99, Rebecca Warriner (NP) :28.18, Bryanna Evens (PA):29.03
400: Orr (CV) 1:03.30, Warriner 1:04.18, Evens (PA) 1:05.54
800: Erin Perry (NP) 2:36.22, Tracy Woodring (S) 2:38.44, Jessica French (PA) 2:41.68
1,600: French (PA) 6:08.34, Hannah Pruch (BR) 6:09.79, Danielle Carlson (S) 6:17.62
3,200: French (PA) 13:53.19, Jacquie Raymond (S) 14:06.47, Natalya Nannen (S) 14:07.44
400 relay: Cowanesque Valley :54.61 (MR), Port A :57.29, Bolivar-Richburg :57.69
1,600 relay: Cowanesque Valley 4:35.67 (MR), Smethport 4:46.83, Port A 4:57.94
3,200 relay: Smethport 11:20.21 (MR), Bolivar-Richburg 11:50.60, Port A 11:56.13
100 hurdles: April Alfieri (S):17.92 (MR), Cassandra Chapman (E) :18.73, Emily Schena (PA) :19.10
300 hurdles: Chapman (E) :53.10, Schena (PA) :53.17, Cathrine Northup (CV) :55.39.
(MR = meet record.)

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