Baseball can be an evil game.
But, as Trinity’s Nick Riotto knows, it tends to boomerang back, the lucky bounces changing from game to game.
After Don McWreath struck out five, walked none and held Keystone Oaks to four hits during a 3-0 loss Monday, Riotto figured Trinity was due with South Fayette coming to Consol Energy Park Wednesday night for a Section 3-AAA contest.
“It was our time to be due for the breaks,” Riotto said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for the breaks to go our way, and they finally did.”
Riotto pitched 5 2/3 innings, McWreath had all three of his team’s hits, and Trinity got more than a few breaks during a 5-3 win, steadying the Hillers at 1-1 in section play entering Friday’s home game against Chartiers Valley.
South Fayette (1-1, 4-3) made three errors, all on groundballs in the infield, all that led to runs for Trinity (1-1, 3-3).
“If you make mistakes, you’re going to lose,” said South Fayette coach James Barton, who suspended shortstop Jake Quattro before the game for violating team rules. “We didn’t make the plays. They had three hits the whole game and got five runs because we made mistakes.”
In a section that features plenty of quality pitching, including Riotto and South Fayette’s starter, Mike Fetchet, getting a few freebies didn’t bother Trinity coach Scott Henson.
“The pitchers in this section are pretty tough, and you have to work hard for runs,” Henson said. “When you get them like that, it’s a little bit of a relief.”
Riotto allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking three. His looping curveball gave South Fayette’s hitters fits, and he missed the strike zone – 54 of his 82 pitches were strikes – just enough to be successful.
“I felt pretty good,” Riotto said. “Felt the same all the way through from start to finish. That’s what I wanted.”
Trinity scored its first two runs in the bottom of the second. Connor Fritz walked and Lou Favetti was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved them into scoring position, Dustin Galentine struck out looking, and Mike Stone’s bouncer to short resulted in a throw in the turf from South Fayette shortstop Justin Foreman, an error that scored a run.
McWreath followed with an RBI single to left.
South Fayette got one back in the top of the fourth after Tyler Godwin tripled to the wall in left center. Dylan Witt’s grounder up the middle and past a diving Riotto scored Godwin.
Trinity tacked on three more in the bottom of the fifth. McWreath singled and went to second on a wild pitch. He later scored a wild throw from South Fayette third baseman Zach Walker.
Riotto was walked intentionally, but that backfired when Zach Kenny scored on a wild pitch. Ryan Moon came around on South Fayette’s third error.
Jason Vankirk relieved Riotto and struck out four, allowing a run on two hits, a balk and a wild pitch, before earning the save, one that was plenty appreciated after Trinity was left wanting more Monday.
“We were patient at the plate and made the most of our opportunities when we got on base,” McWreath said. “They had to make the plays, and they didn’t make the plays they needed to make. It’s all we needed.”