Butler finally took advantage of some breaks
— not that Connor Ollio needed any.
The Golden Tornado junior right-hander
tossed a one-hitter and struck out 13 as Butler shut out Seneca Valley, 4-0, in
a key Section 1-6A baseball game at Kelly Automotive Park.
“Connor was just on his game tonight.
Everything was working for him,” Butler coach Todd Erdos
said. “He was getting stronger as the game went on. The adrenalin was really
The Tornado (7-4, 2-3) won their fourth
straight game and climbed back into the WPIAL playoff race. The loss snapped a
three-game win streak for the Raiders (6-6, 1-4).
“He (Ollio) is a
great pitcher,” Seneca Valley coach Eric Semerga
said. “We knew this was going to be a tough one coming in here. That kid is
hard enough to hit anytime. Put him under the lights and he's that much
Those lights would burn the Raiders
defensively as well.
Butler took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of
the fifth inning. Jacob Keene had led off the third with a single, moved up two
bases on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Justin Stewart's sacrifice fly
Seneca Valley right-hander D.J. Alway struck out the first two batters in the fifth, then got Adam Hohn to hit a
towering fly ball to left field.
Left fielder Brett Steinle
never saw the ball — losing it in the lights — and it landed a few feet from
him for a double. Dallas Hays walked and Cade Negley
drilled a two-run double down the left field line. Ollio
followed with a run-scoring double over Steinle's
“I felt confident all night, but seeing
those three runs score jacked my confidence way up there,” Ollio
He struck out the side in the sixth and
seventh innings to wrap up the win. Ollio threw nine
of 10 pitches for strikes in the seventh.
“My slider was cutting well tonight,” Ollio said. “All I wanted to do tonight was pitch well for
my team. We needed this game.”
Seneca Valley managed only three baserunners all night. Anthony Cinicola
drew a one-out walk in the fourth, stole second and moved to third on a wild
pitch. Ollio struck out Mike Collins and Steinle to end the inning.
Mark Trotta led
off the fifth with the Raiders' lone hit — a clean liner to
center — moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on Justin Dattoli's sacrifice bunt. Joey Kozlina
then hit a blooper to left.
As Tornado left fielder Alec Bayer made a
lunging catch, Trotta took off for the plate. Bayer
threw the ball to third and Trotta was ruled to be
doubled off the bag to end the inning.
was still arguing with the umpires well after Butler's fielders returned to the
“It wasn't whether he left early or tagged
up that bugged me. It was the umpires' explanation,” Semega
said. “They said the outfielder juggled the ball before securing it and my guy
left the bag before the catch was actually made.
“When you tag up, you can leave once the
ball touches the guy's glove. I don't even think he juggled the ball at all.
But whether we get that call or not, it was going to be tough for us to score
The Raiders' loss spoiled a solid start by Alway. He struck out nine in five innings while throwing 94
“Their kid was hitting the inside and
outside corners, moving the ball up and down ... His fastball was deceptive,” Erdos said. “We had a hard time getting to him.
“But we took advantage of the breaks we got
to score some runs this time. That's something we hadn't been doing.”
Friday's game marked the midway point of the
section season for both teams.
“We're in a hole, but if we keep playing the
way we have these past four games, I think we'll be OK,” Semega
said. “D.J. was outstanding tonight. I'll take an outing like he had tonight
Seneca Valley 000 000
0 — 0 1 2
Butler 001 030 x — 4 6 0
W: Connor Ollio
7IP (13K, 2BB). L: D.J. Alway 5IP (9K, 2BB).
Seneca Valley (6-6, 1-4): Mark Trotta 1B
Butler (7-4, 2-3): Adam Hohn
2B, Cade Negley 2B 2-RBI, Connor Ollio
1B 2B RBI, Jacob Keene 2-1B, Justin Stewart RBI