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Mercyhurst Prep baseball, Harbor Creek softball take first place

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HARBORCREEK – April 15 did not go as planned for Mercyhurst Prep.

The baseball team allowed eight unearned runs that night in a lopsided loss to Harbor Creek. Fortunately for the Lakers, Tuesday offered a chance for redemption.

Mercyhurst (13-3) met Harbor Creek (11-5) in a near-decisive rematch for District 10 Region 4. With three games remaining at the top of the conference, Tuesday’s winner could not seal the league title , but that would happen put himself in the proverbial driver’s seat.

This time, Mercyhurst Prep returned the favor.

Eight different Lakers recorded a goal during Tuesday’s 9-2 win over Harbor Creek at Paul M. Foust Field. One day after knocking off defending Region 4 champion Fairview, the Lakers earned another important victory, one they hope to ride to their first region championship since 2021.

“Pretty much everything went wrong (April 15),” Mercyhurst coach Randy Durkoske said. “Today we played great baseball. We did everything very well.”

Position: View District 10 baseball, softball scores, schedules and results for May 6-11

Big guns

Mercyhurst’s offense – which combined for 11 hits and 13 stolen bases on Tuesday – overshadowed a stellar pitching performance from Brady Rice. The sophomore struck out six in 5⅔ innings, retiring 14 of 15 batters from the first through fifth frames.

“I got a lot of movement downhill and had excellent control of my curveball,” Rice said. “I trusted my fastball a little bit, got a good warm-up and trusted my defense. They helped me enormously.”

Rice followed up 5⅔ strong innings from Hunter Krahe, also a sophomore, in Monday’s 6-3 win over Fairview. The duo has helped the Lakers to a 9-1 mark in Region 4, now one game better than Harbor Creek (8-2).

Last week: Fairview baseball stays in Region 4 race with overtime win over Harbor Creek

“(Krahe) is our ace and I think everyone knew about him, but no one knows our secret in Brady Rice,” Durkoske said. “He’s been fantastic. He’s 4-0 for us and I don’t think anyone thought he was going to pitch.”

There are two games between Mercyhurst and a region championship. The Lakers host Northwestern on May 13 and Seneca on May 15.

Harbor Creek softball runs away from LeBoeuf

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Harbor Creek softball runs off Fort LeBoeuf for control of Region 4

Listen to Talon King (RBI single) and Addison Lucas (eight shutout IP) after Harbor Creek’s 1-0 victory over Fort LeBoeuf in eight innings.

Harbor Creek softball needed this one.

A loss to Fort LeBoeuf (12-5) had already tarnished the Huskies’ (13-4) record in Region 3 and another loss would all but eliminate them from championship contention. Then Talon hit King with the bases loaded in extra innings.

King hit a fastball to left field, scoring Maggie Koneiczki and sending the Huskies into a frenzy. That was the only run in Harbor Creek’s eight-inning victory on Tuesday, one that took control of a loaded field.

More: In the Circle: 75 District 10 high school softball players to watch in 2024

“(The pitch) was inside me and I brought it to where she threw me,” said King, a sophomore.

Addison Lucas pitched eight scoreless frames for the Huskies, helping avenge a 3-1 loss to LeBoeuf on April 17. After some help from third-place Northwestern and a sweep from the Wildcats themselves, Harbor Creek moved within reach of its first region title since 2022.

“We talked about the ‘us before me’ mentality,” Harbor Creek coach Tim Caputo said. “Hold that and be positive.”

Dates with North East and Mercyhurst Prep remain for both Harbor Creek and LeBoeuf, plus a Thursday against Girard for the Huskies. However, everyone knew how important Tuesday was.

“That is the resilience and ability to think positively in difficult situations that we preach,” Caputo said. “The girls running around there show that they just want to win and they don’t care who’s playing.”

Contact Jeff Uveino at [email protected]. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @realjuveino.