Charleroi goes down in history
CHARLEROI – The Charleroi American Legion baseball team may have made history Monday at Vets Field.
Uh, no, it’s not the kind of history that the team will celebrate.
Charleroi was a 7-6 loser to visiting Farmington in a Fayette County American Legion League contest. The historic part of the game came in the fact that Farmington defeated Charleroi for the first time ever in the series between the teams.
‘I don’t think Farmington has ever beaten us before,’ said a disappointed Charleroi manager Tom Hartman. ‘We just aren’t hitting the ball. And if we don’t start hitting, it’s going to be a long season, that’s for sure.’
The win was first of the season for Farmington (1-7) while Charleroi slipped to 6-2.
The visitors jumped out early to a 5-0 lead and Charleroi never recovered. Farmington scored one run in the first and then added four in the second off losing pitcher Steve Walko.
In the second inning, the winners bunted three times for singles and then got a huge two-run double by Mike Romeo.
‘Give their coach credit,’ said Hartman. ‘He pulled out all the stops with those bunts.’
Charleroi countered with two runs in the bottom of the second. Chris Evancho and Jason Cypher led off with walks before Walko singled to load the bases with no outs.
However, what could have been a big inning fizzled when Charleroi managed just two runs on infield groundouts.
‘You get the bases loaded with no outs and you expect a big inning,’ said Hartman. ‘But. Again, we aren’t hitting the ball.’
Trailing 6-2 in the fourth, Charleroi scored three runs without getting a hit. The big play of the inning came when Brody Nichols hit a two-out line drive to center with the bases loaded. The ball was dropped and two runs scored.
Farmington made it 7-5 in the sixth on an RBI single by Adam Muzika.
Charleroi’s last big chance came in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Dave Wachinski drew a walk and Derek DiPiazza lined a double down the third base line. With runners on second and third, Nick Muncie hit into a fielder’s choice to score one run and make it 7-6. However, the hosts couldn’t get the tying run home and then went down 1-2-3 in the last two innings of the eight-inning contest.
For the day, Charleroi had just five hits with no player getting more than one.
‘We have six games this week and I thought we might lose two of them,’ said Hartman. ‘This isn’t one of the games I thought we could lose.’
Charleroi resumes play today at Connellsville before returning home to play Carmichaels in a doubleheader at Vets Field. The twinbill starts at 4 p.m.
NOTES: Charleroi will be without starters Dan O’Rourke and Lloyd Price this week as both are on vacation … In the first round of the American Legion All-Star tryouts over the weekend, Evancho and O’Rourke both advanced to the second tryout on June 20 at Hopwood. Evancho is the only lefthanded pitcher remaining while O’Rourke is an outfielder … Charleroi will host California Thursday and Colonial on Friday.