Name: Ian Stiffler
Stiffler’s week: Ian Stiffler took the mound for the seventh time this season as the Somerset Eagles faced the Huntingdon Bearcats in the District 6 AAA semifinal where the Eagles won 1-0.
Stiffler tossed 13 strikeouts in the showdown. On top of the 86 pitches – 58 of which were strikes – Stiffler scored the lone run.
The run came after teammate Ross Dirienzo hit a sac-fly to second and the catcher committed an error. Despite the error, Stiffler got caught in a rundown between third and home because he left the bag too early. Stiffler beat the rundown in a controversial home-plate call, giving the Eagles the only run of the game.
Season thus far: “This season has gone great,” said Stiffler, who boasts a 3.42 ERA in seven appearances and 30.2 innings pitched. “I’m pretty pleased with the team,” he added.
Somerset is 17-4 this year and is preparing for the District 6 AAA title game. “The team feels confident when (Stiffler) is on the mound,” Eagles head coach Steve Costea said. “Offensively and defensively he has helped. He brings out the best in the team.”
Costea said Stiffler has been the go-to guy this year and has relied on him since he was a freshman.
“My sophomore year I came around and I had to step up because the starting pitcher got hurt,” Stiffler said. “I learned the game more and there are games where it is on my shoulders.”
Growth: Since Stiffler has been part of the team since his freshman year, he has had plenty of learning moments. However, he has also had time to grow as a pitcher and as a leader.
“He grew a lot as a pitcher this year,” Costea said. “He went from a thrower to a pitcher.”
Costea said Stiffler has three pitches he can throw for strikes – a fastball, a curve and a changeup. He has developed command of each.
Adding to his growth as a pitcher, Stiffler feels he grew as a leader.
“It taught me how to be a better leader and that I need to be the biggest leader I can,” Stiffler said.
What’s next: Stiffler is slated to graduate from Somerset High School this year and has committed to Virginia Commonwealth University. At VCU he will continue playing baseball and he expects to be a starting pitcher.
Name: Ian Stiffler
- High School Sports
Berlin taking Tussey Mountain seriously
The District 5 Class A championship – played tonight at Bedford Area High School – pits a perennial power and an upstart.
That upstart – Tussey Mountain – may be short on championship pedigree, but the Titans (10-2) have done more than enough to impress Berlin Brothersvalley coach Doug Paul.
Richland, Central to vie for district title
The score of Central’s PIAA District 6 Class AA semifinal victory over Forest Hills certainly caught Brandon Bailey’s attention.
The Scarlet Dragons put up 62 points against Forest Hills while allowing the Rangers only 14.
CORY ISENBERG | Three schools from area remain in football
Just three area football teams remain alive in postseason play and all three will play in 7 p.m. contests on Friday night.
Showing that it was no fluke the first time around, Chestnut Ridge (9-3) powered its way past Bedford for the second time this season in the District 5 Class AA championship. The Lions earned a berth in the PIAA playoffs opposite District 9 champ Karns City (11-1), which defeated Kane 49-21 in the title game.
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Sewickley Academy shuts out North Star in PIAA soccer
A run to the PIAA’s final four came to an end for North Star, which fell to Sewickley Academy 5-0 Tuesday night at Hempfield Area High School in a Class A boys soccer semifinal.
The Cougars end their season with a 20-3 mark and a second trip to the state semifinals in four seasons.
West Allegheny eliminates Bedford
The Bedford Bisons had their chances to break through against West Allegheny during Tuesday night’s PIAA Class AA semifinal at Hempfield Area High School.
The District 7 champion Indians haven’t been all that generous in letting opponents take advantage of those chances.
Bishop Carroll shut out by Cochranton
Whether it was the two-hour bus ride which was lengthened by a car accident in front of them on the trip north or getting behind a train, the Bishop Carroll bus had the Huskies arriving late Tuesday night at DuBois High School for their PIAA Class A semifinal volleyball clash with Cochranton and the District 6 champions did not look like the same powerhouse squad that had dispatched teams with relative ease throughout the year.
Three area teams remain in playoff hunt
Three area teams – the Bishop Carroll girls volleyball squad and the boys’ soccer teams from North Star and Bedford – continue their respective quests for PIAA gold tonight.
The Huskies will face Cochranton in a Class A state semifinal at 7 p.m. at DuBois High School. The Cougars will play Sewickley Academy at 6 p.m. at Hempfield High School while in the late game at the Greensburg school scheduled for 8 p.m., the Bisons will battle West Allegheny.
CORY ISENBERG| Area fans treated to playoff dramas
Some of the most exciting high school football playoff games over the weekend came courtesy of area squads.
Shade’s hard-fought, dramatic victory over Northern Bedford in the District 5 Class A quarterfinal was a stunner, especially for the Black Panthers faithful, who were already planning for Saturday’s playoff game against Tussey Mountain.
Forest Hills upsets second-seeded Mount Union
Forest Hills followed a familiar path in knocking No. 2 seed Mount Union out of the 6-AA field on Friday night.
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- Berlin taking Tussey Mountain seriously