Frazier doubles up Southmoreland
John Phillips didn’t take long to get his first win as coach of the Frazier baseball team.
The former assistant picked up a 6-3 non-section victory over host Southmoreland in his debut at the helm of the Commodores’ varsity squad.
“They played very well,” Phillips said. “They made the plays when they had to happen, like when there was a guy on base. Justin (Berklovich) stepped up and pitched a good game, and I thought our defense played real well.”
Joe Kulikoski and Matt Shaporka each went 2 for 3 for Frazier, with Kulikoski counting a double among his hits.
Nick Mains led Southmoreland, going 2 for 4 and driving in two runs.
Frazier got off to a good start, posting a three-run first inning. Tony Battaglini’s one-out double to center field sparked the offense, and Kulikoski doubled him home. Dave Genua lined a hit into center and made it to second on the throw as Kulikoski crossed the plate. An error brought in Genua.
The Scotties got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, when Chris Skovira walked and scored on a double from Nick Mains.
After the first inning, Southmoreland starting pitcher Jeremy Mains settled down and made it tough for the Commodores to add to their 3-1 lead. Meanwhile, the Scotties were able to work their way back, thanks to a couple of runs in the bottom of the third.
Jeremy Mains led off the inning with a walk, stole second and came home on Nick Mains’ base hit to right. Nick Mains scored when Aaron Zema sent a line drive into right field to tie the game at 3-3.
Each team picked up a few hits over the next two innings, but the defenses kept either side from gaining the advantage until the top of the sixth, when Berklovich took matters into his own hands. He hit a lead-off double and scored Frazier’s go-ahead run on an error.
Southmoreland’s Devin Bluhm tried to answer in the Scotties’ half of the inning, beating out a throw from short to chart a one-out single. Bluhm worked his way to third with the help of an error and a hard-hit fly ball, but the Commodores got out of the frame with a groundout to second.
Kulikoski and Genua each walked and scored in the seventh, and Frazier retired Southmoreland to secure the win.
“We had some good moments, and we had some bad moments,” Southmoreland coach Brian Hyde said. “Jeremy threw very well in his first outing. We just couldn’t get the big runs in.”
Both teams will be back in action Monday. The Commodores visit Beth-Center, while the Scotties travel to Greensburg Salem.