JACKSON TWP — Seneca Valley continued to leave the door open for rival North Allegheny.
After experiencing their own offensive struggles for much of the game, the Tigers finally took advantage of it.
Ben Surman’s base hit to left field over a drawn-in infield plated Caiden Wood in the top of the seventh inning as the Tigers secured a crucial 1-0 Section 1-6A baseball victory at Raider Field Wednesday afternoon.
SV’s Cory Greiner was the hard-luck loser, giving up the one run on five hits. The southpaw was supported by a solid defense, which turned five double plays.
“Cory isn’t a strikeout pitcher. He pitches to contact,” said Raiders’ coach Eric Semega. “The game could’ve been a lot different without those double plays. It says a lot about our defense.
“But it doesn’t matter how well we pitch or play defense if we can’t score.”
Both teams looked to bounce back from disappointing section openers on Tuesday. The Tigers dropped a lopsided 13-4 decision to Shaler while SV lost to Central Catholic, 6-0.
“For our guys to go home and look themselves in the mirror after yesterday’s game and come back and play the way they did today, this was huge for us,” said NA coach Andy Heck.
The Tigers had collected just three combined hits in the first six innings of the game, but managed just enough offense in their last at-bat.
Wood led off the seventh by drawing a four-pitch walk and moved to second base on Juliano Capretta’s single. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch prior to Surman’s deciding single.
Greiner avoided further damage by getting Ben Petschke to ground into a 5-2-4 double play and striking out Anthony Hattrup. SV’s starter finished the game with four strikeouts and five walks.
“Cory pitched behind in the count and lost some guys, but he ended up throwing 90 pitches in seven innings,” Semega said. “That’s 13 pitches per inning and that’s right where you want to be.”
SV stranded seven baserunners, including one that represented the tying run in the bottom of the seventh.
Against Tigers’ reliever Colin Cain, Drew Robertson walked with one out. Cameron Vozel was retired on a fly ball to deep right and Anthony Cinicola grounded out to end the game.
It was the conclusion to a very frustrating day for the Raider offense. In four different innings — first, second, fifth and sixth — SV had a runner on second base with less than two outs, yet failed to score.
Note: The Raiders (4-4, 1-2) bounced back with a 7-6 section win over Pine-Richland on Friday.
North Allegheny 000 000 1 — 1 5 1
Seneca Valley 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
W: Colin Cain 2IP (1K, 1BB). L: Cory Greiner 7IP (4K, 5BB).