The Altoona Area High School baseball team continues to follow the same script this spring.
And why not? It keeps having a happy ending.
Shea Stayer's sixth-inning single drove in Ben Wyland with two outs to lift the two-time defending tournament champion Mountain Lions to their fourth come-from-behind win in as many starts, 5-4, over Latrobe in the opening round of the Altoona Curve Classic on Friday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
"It seems to be our make-up this year to fall behind and just battle back,'' Altoona coach Tom Smith said.
The Lions will play Huntingdon, a 7-2 winner over Central, today at 5:30 p.m.
Altoona trailed 3-0 and didn't even have a hit off Latrobe pitcher Matt Shoemaker until the fourth inning, when the Lions pushed across four runs on three hits, two walks and an error. Wyland had the big hit: a bases-loaded single that drove in two runs.
"We were just able to bunch some hits together, and that made all the difference for us,'' Smith said. "We talked about breaking up the no-hitter first, and we hadn't hit the ball hard, so we said, 'Let's not even worry about the hit. Let's have somebody hit the ball hard.' J.D. started us off, and the other guys followed.''
Altoona only had seven hits. Wyland and Chris Sinisi had consecutive one-out singles in the seventh before Stayer came through after a flyout.
"He's been hitting for us all year and came through for us again,'' Smith said of Wyland. "And then Shea Stayer came up with the biggest hit of the day. Good for our guy in the ninth spot to come up big with two outs.''
Alec Lytle picked up the win in relief of Jason Douglas. Christian Helsel struck out three of the four Latrobe hitters he faced in the seventh for the save.
LATROBE (4): Shoemaker p-cr 310, Robel cf-lf 300, Giannini ss 100, Bisi 2b 300, Monteparte ph 100, Zavatsky c 322, Clark 1b 201, DePalma 3b 211, Sowinski lf 302, Imbrogno dh 200, Hogue rf 000, Lamiskie p 000. Totals - 23-4-6.
ALTOONA (5): Oswalt cf 401, Green lf 311, Helsel ss-p 311, Lombardo c 200, Berardinelli cr-ss 010, Chesney dh 210, Negri pr 000, Douglas p 000, Lytle p 000, Wyland 3b 312, Sinisi 2b 301, Fink 1b 300, Stayer rf 301. Totals -26-5-7.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Latrobe020 110 0-4 6 2
Altoona000 401 0-5 7 1
E-Giannini, Shoemaker, Fink. LOB-Latrobe 6, Altoona 3. 2B-Sowinski. RBI-Sowinski 2, DePalma, Chesney, Wyland 2, Fink, Giannini, Stayer. SAC-Clark, Robel. SF-Giannini. SB-Robel, Zavatsky, Stayer.
Latrobe: Shoemaker-4 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO; Zamiskie (L)-2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
Altoona: Douglas-5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO; Lytle (W)-1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO; Helsel (Sv)-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1BB, 3 SO.
WP-Shoemaker 2, Douglas.
Umpires: John Garritano (plate), Joe Bidoli Jr. (bases).
Team records: Latrobe (4-4); Altoona (4-0).