Track: Belle Vernon freshmen golden at Big South

Written by Brad Everett on .

Hannah Seitzinger and Sydney Baciak may only be freshman, but they have wasted little time in becoming key contributors for the Belle Vernon track and field team.

Seitzinger and Baciak were very good at last Wednesday's Big South Invitational, so good that they walked away from West Mifflin High School with gold medals. Seitzinger won the title in the 800-meter run and Baciak finished in first place in the high jump.

It was a particular impressive performance for Seitzinger, who finished in a personal-record time of 2:19.18. Only seven WPIAL Class 3A athletes have run faster this season. Seitzinger topped runner-up Kayla Polakovic of Thomas Jefferson (2:30.48) by 11 seconds.

Baciak claimed high jump gold with a leap of 5-1 and also posted fourth-place finishes in two other events. She had a mark of 32-8 ½ in the triple jump and 15-4 in the long jump. Baciak's high jump was a personal-best and the eighth-best in Class 3A.


Baseball: Red-hot Belle Vernon stays in contention for a section title

Written by Brad Everett on .

Belle Vernon went into its game last Wednesday against South Park likely feeling pretty good about its chances of making the playoffs.

When the day ended, the Leopards knew a section title was still in play, as well.

South Park (14-2) won its first eight section games, but Belle Vernon (10-3) made sure that number didn't increase to nine by handing the visiting Eagles their first section loss, 8-2, in a Class 4A Section 3 contest. Each team won section games Friday, so with four games remaining in the section schedule, South Park is 9-1 and Belle Vernon is 8-2. The Leopards have won eight games in a row overall.

South Park had beaten Belle Vernon, 8-6, on April 5, but the Leopards got some payback and snapped South Park's 10-game winning streak. Belle Vernon jumped on South Park by scoring three runs in the first and led 6-2 before tacking on two insurance runs in the sixth. Ben Cole had three hits and Joshua Hoffman and Jacob Callaway each had two. Cole and Jordan Zilka drove in two runs apiece. Winning pitcher Devin Judy gave up two runs (one earned) and had seven strikeouts in six innings.


Softball: Belle Vernon riding a wave of pitching and offense

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The WPIAL has gotten to know Bailey Parshall since she burst onto the scene three years ago as a freshman and led Belle Vernon to a WPIAL crown. This year she continues to be dominant and now the Leopards offense is clicking on all cylinders too. The lethal combination has Belle Vernon at 13-1 overall and 9-1 in Class 4A Section 2 behind only Yough (13-1, 9-0).

Parshall, a Penn State recruit, led the WPIAL in strikeouts last season with 213. Through April 16 she had 104 and is well on her way to leading the WPIAL again. Parshall fired a no-hitter against Greensburg Salem in a non-section contest earlier this year and in that case, it was mostly Parshall as she also drove in three runs.

But the Belle Vernon success has been more than just Parshall. She had a shutout against South Fayette, but it was a bases-clearing three-run double by Mekenzie Sokol that pushed the Leopards over the edge.

Belle Vernon hosts Frazier on Monday in a non-section contest before visiting South Fayette in a section game on Tuesday. One of the most anticipated games of the WPIAL season awaits on May 9 when Belle Vernon hosts Yough at Washington Township Complex. Yough won the previous meeting, 2-0, at Yough on April 13. The May 9 meeting could produce co-section champions or Yough as an outright section champion. Either way, it is likely the No. 1 seed in the classification will come out of those two teams and the other team will be placed on the other side of the bracket.


Alumni Update - Kirby Manown (California Pa.)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

ERIE, Pa. – The Vulcans tied for first place at the Gannon Spring Invitational on Saturday afternoon and won theManown CalU tournament title by virtue of a tiebreaker.


The California University of Pennsylvania men's golf team and Mercyhurst both carded a 20-over 308 through 18 holes. The Vulcans were award the invitational title after the tie was broken by using the score of the fifth golfer, where Cal U held a five-stroke advantage. Three teams, including the host Golden Knights, tied for second place with a 23-over 311 on Saturday.

Seniors Kirby Manown, a Belle Vernon graduate, led the team and finished seventh overall with a four-over 76. Manown carded five birdies at the event, which was tied for the most among all golfers in the field. 


(photo courtesy of California Pa.)


Baseball: Outstanding pitching propels Belle Vernon to win streak

Written by Brad Everett on .

Pitching has been a strength for Belle Vernon all season, but it hasn't been as evident as it has during a win streak that has kept the Leopards in contention for a section title.

Belle Vernon will take a five-game winning streak into today's Class 4A Section 3 game against McGuffey. The run of wins has improved the Leopards to a 7-3 record (5-2 in section competition). Pitching has been the key. Over the last five games, the Leopards have allowed only seven runs, including three in their last four games. They own shutouts against West Mifflin and Elizabeth Forward.

Really, though, excellent pitching is nothing new for Belle Vernon. For the season, the Leopards boast a sparkling 1.37 ERA and opponents are hitting only .212 against them. Deven Judy is 3-0 with a 0.34 ERA and Joel Engstrom is 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA. Jake Amatangelo (1-0, 0.72) and Evan Johnston (1-2, 2.51) own the other wins.

Offensively, Belle Vernon sports a team batting average of .326. Johnston (.565, 8 RBIs), Jake Callaway (.483, 10 RBIs) and Jordan Zilka (.324, 8 RBIs) have powered an offense that is averaging eight runs during the winning streak.