Steelies, STR split at Mercyhurst

ERIE – A trio of teams featuring numerous Warren players opened play at the Mercyhurst University Tournament Friday.

The Southern Tier Regulators, Erie Steelheads Prospects and Erie Steelheads Travel each played a pair of games. The Regulators and Prospects split their two games, while Travel lost a pair of close games.

The Regulators and Prospects each played Richmond Hill and Ohio Playmakers. Both defeated Richmond Hill and fell to Ohio Playmakers.

They’ll meet up today at 1:30 p.m. at Mercyhurst University.

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Southern Tier Regulators 7, Richmond Hill Phoenix Midget AA 1

Lance Baldensperger and Austyn Cummings combined to drive in four of the seven runs and Aidan Morrison added a pair of hits in the Regulators’ 7-1 over Richmond Hill.

Baldensperger had two hits, including a double, and three RBI to back Aaron Hair’s strong start on the mound in their opening game.

Richmond took advantage of a pair of walks in the third to score the first run. The Regulators answered with a 3-spot in the bottom of the inning.

Hair drew a 1-out walk and Anthony Gullo singled with two outs. Baldensperger drove the first pitch he saw into left for a 2-run double. Lucas Porpiglia walked and Cummings singled in Baldensperger to put STR up 3-1.

Morrison singled to start the fourth and Nick Crandall reached on a fielder’s choice. Morrison was forced out at third when Nathan Engdahl grounded into a fielder’s choice. Crandall and Engdahl advanced to third and second, respectively, on a passed ball and Crandall came in when Trey Swartz grounded out. Hair and Jackson walked to load the bases and Engdahl scored when Gullo walked. Baldensperger drew the fourth straight walk to score Hair, and Jackson scored when Porpiglia drew the fifth consecutive walk of the inning.

Baldensperger finished 2-2 with a double, run scored, two walks and three RBI. Gullo was 2-2 with a run scored, a walk and RBI, Morrison went 2-3 and Cummings was 1-3 with a RBI.

Hair gave up one earned run on one hit in six innings. He walked four and struck out 14 Porpiglia didn’t allow a hit or a run in his inning of relief. He walked two and struck out two.

Ohio Playmakers 10, Southern Tier Regulators 0, 4 innings

The Ohio Playmakers took advantage of nine Regulators errors to pick up a 10-0 win.

STR was limited to just two hits on the day and Lucas Willink took the tough luck loss as he surrendered 10 unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Eight of the 10 Playmakers in the lineup scored at least one run.

Porpiglia and Cummings had the hits for STR.

Willink gave up 10 runs, all unearned, on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out a pair.

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Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects 11, Richmond Hill Phoenix Midget AA 1, 4 innings

Mitch Grosch gave up just one run and one hit, and Mason Bender and Luke Jackson homered to lead the Steelies Prospects to an 11-1, four inning win over Richmond Hill in their opening game.

Jackson finished with three RBI and Ryan Rafalski and Casey Smith each drove in two to pace the offense. Every starter in the lineup reached base at least once.

An 8-run first got things going quickly for the Steelheads.

Bender led off the bottom of the inning with a homerun to right. Matt Shepard reached on an error and Cody Smith singled to put a pair of runners on for Jackson. Jackson took a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left to make it 4-0. Aidan Kelly walked, then it looked like Richmond Hill would escape further damage with a pop out and line out. Chris Juchno walked and Cameron Williamson singled in Kelly. Grosch was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rafalski followed with a 2-run single. Bender walked to reload the bases and Shepard was hit by a pitch to bring in the eighth run of the inning.

Jackson doubled and stole third to start the second. He came in on Kelly’s ground out to put Erie up 9-0.

Cody Smith led off the fourth with a single and Jackson and Kelly were each hit by a pitch to load the bases for Casey Smith. Casey Smith singled to left to bring in Cody Smith and end the game.

In four innings, Grosch gave up one earned run on one hit with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Ohio Playmakers 17U 8, Erie Steelheads 17U Prospects 0, 5 innings

Will Small held the Steelies Prospects to just two hits over five innings to lead the Ohio Playmakers to an 8-0 win in the second game of the day.

Six of the nine Playmakers scored at least one run and all of them reached at least once in the win.

Jackson and Juchno had the hits for Erie.

Nick Hussey started for the Steelies and gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two. Williamson gave up one earned run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out a pair. Casey Smith pitched 2/3 inning and allowed two earned runs on one hit and three walks.

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Devil Dogs 8, Erie Steelheads 17U Travel 5, 6 innings

Ben Berdine had a pair of hits, including a double, and two RBI, and Ethan Wilson doubled and pitched a scoreless inning of relief, but the Steelies Travel dropped an 8-5 decision to the Devil Dogs.

The Devil Dogs got on the board with a sac fly in the first. Wilson led off the bottom of the inning with a double, but was stranded there.

The Dogs picked up another run in the second to take a 2-0 lead.

Michael Oblich led off the second with a double and Berdine doubled him home to make it 2-1. Isaiah Barron walked and, one out later, Joey Amann doubled in Berdine. Jacob Cooper followed with a walk to load the bases. Matt Liam singled in Barron with two away to give Erie a 3-2 advantage.

The Devil Dogs tied it in the third, but the Steelheads got the run right back.

With one out, Oblich, Berdine and Barron drew consecutive walks. Oblich came in on Collin Ishimaru’s ground out to put Erie back on top, 4-3.

With two runs in the fourth, the Devil Dogs retook the lead. The added to it with three runs in the fifth.

Conor Fitzgerald drew a leadoff walk to start the Erie half of the fifth. Oblich singled him to second and Berdine brought him in with a single.

Alex Stefanovsky gave up eight runs, five earned, on 10 hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out six. Wilson gave up one hit and struck out two in his scoreless inning of relief.

Brampton Royals 18U 8, Erie Steelheads 17U Travel 7, 6 innings

The Steelies Travel battled back from an early 7-0 deficit, but fell, 8-7, to the Brampton Royals in their second game of the day.

Oblich drove in three runs while Liam had three hits and Berdine a pair to lead the offense. Only four of the combined 15 runs in the game were earned.

Brampton struck for seven runs with two outs in the second. The Royals took advantage of a dropped third strike and an error to bring in six of the seven runs.

The Steelies picked up a pair in the fourth. Malec and Fitzgerald drew consecutive walks to start the inning and Oblich followed with a double that scored Malec. Berdine walked and, one out later, Fitzgerald scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 7-2.

With one out in the fifth, Wilson reached on an error, Matt Leehan singled and Malec walked to load the bases. Fitzgerald walked in a run. Oblich hit a sac fly to left that scored Leehan and Malec was able to come around from second on the play to score as well. Berdine followed with a run-scoring single to bring Erie to within one at 7-6.

Cooper reached on an error with one out in the sixth. One out later, Leehan singled and Cooper scored to tie it when Malec reached on an error.

The Royals scored once in the sixth to pick up the win.