The Connellsville and Hempfield baseball teams each received solid starting pitching in a Section 2-AAAA showdown Wednesday. However, only the Spartans managed to get any timely hitting.
Hempfield got a few key hits early, then piled them on late on its way to a 10-0 victory over the host Falcons in six innings.
“We had some quality at-bats and we got a great pitching performance from John Veach-Dixon,” Hempfield coach Denny Little said. “When you have quality at-bats and get good pitching, good things happen.”
The Falcons (2-7, 1-3) did receive solid pitching from starter Joe Leonard. Although he was touched up for four runs, he worked out of several jams to keep Connellsville in the game.
Hempfield scored a run in each of the first two innings, but the Spartans (3-4, 1-2) missed a chance to blow the game open early as they left the bases loaded in each of those frames.
“Joe threw real well,” Connellsville coach Brian Shipley said. “But we didn’t get any runs for him. We hit some balls hard, but they were right at people.”
Leading, 2-0, in the fourth, Hempfield doubled its advantage as Greg Meisner came through with a clutch two-run double.
The 4-0 lead was more than enough for Veach-Dixon. The right-hander worked all six innings and gave up just two harmless singles. He struck out four and walked one. Connellsville never had a runner in scoring position the entire game.
“I can’t say enough about the way Veach-Dixon pitched,” Little said.
After five innings of work on the mound, Leonard was lifted in favor of Tyler Nicholson.
Nicholson struggled a little with his control and the Connellsville defense committed three errors behind him. Plus, Danny Norris, Patrick Kohl, Kyle McCullough, Casey Teagarden and Steve Bills all singled to help Hempfield put up six runs in the sixth inning.
Hempfield outhit Connellsville, 12-2.
“We only had two hits, and we knew Hempfield would hit the ball,” Shipley said. “All the section teams that we play can hit the ball.”
Connellsville will look to snap a two-game losing streak today when it travels to Norwin. The Spartans will try to make it three wins in a row when they host Latrobe on Friday.