Baseball: Paris leads Avella past J-M, into playoffs

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Santino Paris had a big game Thursday and it helped Avella clinch a spot in the WPIAL playoffs.


Paris went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, two runs and five RBI. And that was only what he did while batting. While on the pitchers’ mound, Paris threw a three-hitter as Avella defeated host Jefferson-Morgan 11-1 in a five-inning Section 1-A game.


Avella (5-3, 6-3) led 3-0 after three innings, then scored four times in both the fourth and fifth. Paris helped secure the Eagles’ postseason berth with a three-run homer.


Derek Allen also had a double for Avella, which has scored in double figures in four consecutive games.


Jefferson-Morgan (3-5, 3-9) was eliminated from playoff contention.


• Mt. Lebanon pitcher Austin Kitchen threw a complete game to lead Mt. Lebanon past Canon-McMillan, 3-2, in Section 5-AAAA.


Kitchen, a Kent State recruit, struck out 10 and threw 127 pitches to shut down the Big Macs. Mt. Lebanon (6-2, 9-9) scored an insurance run it would need before Canon-McMillan (5-3, 11-4) almost rallied in the seventh to tie the game.


Sophomore Tanner Piechnick hit a two-out RBI double to draw Canon-McMillan to within 3-2, but Kitchen recorded the last out to get the win. Mt. Lebanon is now in first place in the section, while the Big Macs drop to third place. Canon-McMillan stranded 10 runners and had the bases loaded with two outs twice but failed to capitalize.


• The potential game-tying run was thrown out at home plate in the seventh inning as McGuffey defeated Trinity, 6-5, in a Section 3-AAA game at Consol Energy Park.


The Hillers (1-8, 4-11) had the bases loaded with two outs when a passed ball got past the McGuffey catcher. Trinity junior Dominic Neff attempted to score on the play, but the ball bounced back to the catcher and he was tagged out to end the game.


The Hillers committed seven errors and were held to just two hits in the loss.


McGuffey (1-7, 1-10) had five extra-base hits as the Highlanders earned their first win of the season.


Matt Chambers was the winning pitcher.


The game was tied 4-4 entering the seventh inning, when McGuffey scored two runs to take the lead. An error gave Trinity one run in the bottom half of the inning.


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