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Hopewell Junior High Baseball

Under Tough Conditions, Hopewell Junior High Baseball Loses Opener to South Side



In a day that more fitted to play a football game, the Hopewell Junior High Baseball team opened their 2024 season by hosting South Side.

Both teams had a deal with blistering cold temperatures, light snow flurries and at times, high winds.

Under these type conditions, it was very difficult for any pitcher to really get their arms loose and for the hitters, it was challenging to say the least.

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None the less, that’s baseball in Western Pennsylvania in March and the game went on.

Hopewell also had a big hole in their lineup and on the mound as 8th grader Collin Davis was physically unable to play.

The biggest problem for the Vikings today was getting any rhythm on the mound as the pitchers allowed 13 walks and 14 hits. Pitching will be a strength for Hopewell this season so as the season goes on, those numbers will no doubt improve.

Whether it was the weather conditions, opening day jitters or the South Side hitters doing their job at the plate, it wasn’t Hopewell’s day today as South Side wins the opener 16-6.

8th grader Maddox Fattore got the start on the mound and pitched a great 1st inning. Fattore got the first batter to ground out, then after allowing a hit, retired the next two hitters on a pop up to 3rd base and a line drive back to the mound.

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Hopewell got on the scoreboard first as Jayvion Lindsey drew a leadoff walk and would score on an RBI single to right field by James Armstrong.

South Side scored a combined five runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings to take a 5-1 lead.

The Vikings responded with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the 3rd inning to tie the game. Owen Ackerman and Gunner Reese started the inning by drawing walks. Then after 1 out, Josh Gill also drew a free pass to load the bases for Armstrong, who delivered. Boo laced a single to right-center field, which scored Ackerman. The ball hopped by the centerfielder, which also allowed Reese and Gill to score. Hopewell now trailed just 5-4. Next up, Luke Vukovcan hit a deep double to center field, which scored Armstrong and the game was tied at 5.

South Side didn’t waste any time getting the lead back as they scored 4 runs in the top of the 4th and 2 more in the 5th inning.

7th grader Andrew Arzberger pitched an effective two innings, allowing only 2 runs and striking out four batters. That was a nice junior high debut for Arzberger.

Hits today from Hopewell came from Armstrong (two), Vukovcan, Camden Hoth, Jackson Yurcina and Ackerman.

The junior high team will return to practice field before their next game, a week from today, at New Castle.

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