EXTRA INNINGS: Pirates give fans early Christmas present
FOR THE 24th consecutive off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates will offer fans an off-season indoor baseball carnival, and for the third time, the event will take place in December.
This year’s two-day extravaganza will be from noon-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec.14 and from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Season ticket holders may attend from 9 a.m.-noon on December 14.
D-10 volleyball, soccer playoffs under way
The District 10 soccer playoffs began Monday with area teams competing in a Class AA doubleheader at Franklin High School.
The Slippery Rock boys moved on with a 2-1 victory over Hickory, but the Grove City girls dropped a 2-0 loss to Ft. LeBoeuf.
In Class A boys Tuesday, Commodore Perry squared off against Mercyhurst Prep at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium in Erie while Mercer battles North East at 7 p.m. at Franklin High.
The D-10 girls volleyball playoffs began Tuesday at Meadville Area Senior High School. In Class A, Sharps-ville, Lakeview and West Middlesex were in action while Grove City, Hickory and Wilmington are competing in Class AA.
GC boys win D-10 run title; locals advance to state
Mercer County’s cross country contingent took stock of itself during the annual District 10 Championships in Buhl Farm Park, and this much was self-evident:
Years in the making, its collective stock is still soaring.
“You’ve gotta have good stock to make good soup” mused West Middlesex mentor Bob Morris.
While Morris was referencing his Ms. Reds and Big Reds specifically, he could have served as spokesman for his county coaching counterparts.
On Saturday, Morris’ Ms. Reds and Grove City’s Eagles soared to the Class A and AA team titles, while Hickory and Wilmington girls’ ended as runners-up in AA and A, respectively.
Hickory’s Lexi Bible and Grove City’s Aaron Benka beat back blustery weather conditions and bested the AA field in 19:37 and 16:23.
District 10 football pairings set
Nine area football teams have qualified for the District 10 playoffs. The brackets were posted on the D-10 website Saturday.
Lakeview, Mercer, Sharpsville and West Middlesex will compete in Class A while Greenville, Sharon, Grove City and Hickory will represent the area in Class AA action.
In Class AAA, undefeated Slippery Rock receives a first round bye.
EXTRA INNINGS: Pirates, Steelers reverse roles for the fans
FOR ANYONE under the age of 25, late July meant the end of the baseball season in Pittsburgh.
By then—usually way before then—the Pirates were all but mathematically eliminated from extending the season into October.
So when the perennially-winning Steelers opened training camp, it gave Pittsburgh sports fans a reprieve. Instead of another dismal season, the Steelers provided post-season hopes.
Not so in 2013.
THE CHECKERED FLAG: Stampede ends local racing season
THE 2013 racing season in the western Pa/eastern Ohio region came to a close last weekend with the fifth running of the “Steel City Stampede” DIRTcar roundup at Lernerville Speedway. The event has grown in stature each year; however, weather really took a toll on this year’s show.
The event included practice on Thursday night, heat races for nine divisions on Friday night with feature events plus an Enduro on Saturday night. Temperatures never got out of the mid 40s during the daytime hours for any of the event nights. Rain and snow was in the forecast, but other than a brief delay on Saturday night, the precip didn’t affect action.
Hickory girls, CP boys win team run titles
STONEBORO — Bible was the gospel truth Saturday morning in Stoneboro.
Hickory High sophomore Lexi Bible bested the field with a 20:22 clocking, defending her individual crown while leading the Lady Hornets to the Mercer County Cross Country Invitational crown.
The annual event — encompassing Regions 1 and 2 and hosted this year by Lakeview High — serves as the final prelude to the annual state qualifier, the District 10 Championships.
Hickory harvested 48 points to outdistance Wilmington (55), though the runnerup Lady Greyhounds’ 56-second pack time (Lexi Brumbaugh, Allison Baldwin, Hannah Drake, Rikki Brumbaugh and Hannah Winters) was considerably tighter than Hickory’s.
EXTRA INNINGS: Save these important dates for baseball news
CIRCLE THESE upcoming dates (and some past) for Major League Baseball news.
Monday: The Pirates’ Francisco Liriano and Yankees’ retiring reliever Mariano Rivera were named Sporting News’ Comeback Players of the Year. As this column predicted last week, Liriano was a no-brainer.
The Pirates’ staff ace went 16-8, including an 8-1 mark and 1.47 ERA at PNC Park in 2013. He was 8-2 with a 1.26 ERA following a Pirate loss. He posted a career high in wins and his lowest ERA (3.02) since his 2006 rookie season.
Liriano’s teammates were second (Mark Melancon) and third (Marlon Byrd). Voting was by 186 major leaguers.
THE CHECKERED FLAG: Racing season winds down
THE ONLY LOCAL event to take place this past weekend in western Pa. or eastern Ohio was on Friday night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex as the Markleysburg oval held their season finale and the fifth appearance by the RUSH Late Model Touring Series.
After one of the worst weekends in recent memory for Mike Pegher Jr. at his home track Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway in which the Wexford driver went from a +18 point lead to a -17 deficit, he quickly bounced back on Friday night leading all 30 laps for the $2,000 to-win feature holding off Jacob Hawkins for his fifth win of the season. By virtue of his victory and Ryan Montgomery's sixth place, Pegher will trail Montgomery by just seven points heading into the finale this weekend at Lernerville Speedway.
Slippery Rock rolls past Grove City
It was a decade in the making, but it was certainly worth the wait for the Slippery Rock Rockets.
At Slippery Rock on Homecoming night Friday, the undefeated Rockets of coach Brendan Hathaway defeated long-time rival Grove City, 49-21. It marked the first time since Week 2 of the 2003 season that the Rockets upended the Eagles.
“Grove City always has a great program, so any time you can go toe-to-toe with a team like them, you have to be happy with where you’re at,” Hathaway said.
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