Cougars outslug Greyhounds
FALLOWFIELD TOWNSHIP – One thing was guaranteed heading into the exhibition baseball game at Veteran’s Field between the Charleroi Cougars and the Monessen Greyhounds: one team would win its first game of the season.
The win went to the Cougars (1-2) as they downed the Greyhounds (0-4) with a 6-2 decision.
“I am pleased with how we played,” Charleroi coach Darryl Hixenbaugh said. “We hit the ball and Greg (Hazy) pitched a solid game.”
Hazy went the distance for the winners. He recorded six strikeouts while holding Monessen to six hits. Hazy only gave up one walk, an intentional pass to Dan Thomas in the third inning.
“We have to build on this win and carry it into our game Saturday against California,” Hixenbaugh added.
Monessen coach Pat Hull was very disappointed after the outcome.
“We still don’t make basic plays,” Hull said. “If we don’t make bad plays early, we are in this game.
“We made good contact on the ball, but our defense let us down. When we hit, we don’t play defense. If we play defense, we don’t hit. We need to put it all together.”
Jeff Henderson led off Charleroi’s half of the first inning with a dribbler to the third-base side of the pitchers mound. Monessen pitcher Robbie Calderone fielded the ball but made an errant throw to allow Henderson to reach base.
Following a walk to Hazy, Keith Carson hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Henderson to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Catcher Charlie Fritch then drove in Hazy with a double.
Thomas cut the Cougars’ lead in half with a tape-measure home run. After Thomas hit the ball, Henderson, who was playing left field, did not budge as the ball traveled over the left-center field fence.
Two batters later, Scottie Galilei doubled with one out, but would be stranded on third base.
Zach Neil led off the Cougars’ half of the second inning with a single. Neil stole second and then scored two batters later on a Dom Scorza double that gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead.
Scorza and Henderson then scored when Calderone threw a ball in the dirt and past Thomas.
The Cougars led 5-1 after two innings.
In the top of the third inning, Scott Myshin singled in Nico Smolec to cut the Cougars lead to 5-2. Smolec had reached base with a single up the middle.
Then, with the bases loaded, Hazy got Galilei to fly out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
Scorza led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk. After a wild pitch and a stolen base, Scorza scored from third base on a Henderson single.
Hazy and Calderone would then settled down to register complete games for their respective teams.
“Robbie pitched well enough to win,” Hull said. “This was his first varsity start and he did an excellent job.”
Corry Medved had two hits for the Cougars while Smolec also recorded two hits for Monessen.
Calderone scattered five hits over six innings. He struck out four batters.
Charleroi hosts California today at 1 p.m. Monessen will try to end its 29-game losing streak Monday at Jefferson Morgan.