Charleroi can't snap slump in loss to Southmoreland

| Friday, April 13, 2012

One of the toughest baseball season's in Charleroi history continued Thursday with a 9-3 loss to Section 2-AA foe Southmoreland at Vets Field.

The Cougars (0-8, 0-3), who have been plagued with injuries and poor fielding all season, had to deal with both once again against the Scotties (4-4, 2-1).

Charleroi coach Brian Corrin juggled his lineup at the last minute when it was discovered that one of his top hitters, Martin Matyas, couldn't be in the lineup as a designated hitter. Matyas has been hampered by arm and hamstring injuries.

"It's like this all season," Corrin sighed. "We can't make a lineup until the very last minute because we never know who can and cannot play."

Then the Cougars proceeded to give Southmoreland six runs on just four hits in the first two innings, including two unearned runs on one single in the first frame.

"We haven't done a good job of supporting our pitchers with our gloves all season and the first two innings were a good example of that," Corrin said. "It's tough to dig a hole like that."

Southmoreland coach Brian Shipley was a happy recipient, however.

"When you go on the road and you get out to a quick, big lead like that, it certainly makes things a little easier," Shipley said.

Southmoreland scored four runs in the second inning as Coty Villinger stroked a two-run single, Brandon Galley singled home a run and winning pitcher Michael Baird smacked a run-scoring double.

The Scotties held a comfortable 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning and Baird was working on a no-hitter when the Cougars broke through.

After one out, Matyas broke up the no-hitter with a single to right. After Brooks Watkins reached on an infield single, Nick Vaccaro smoked an RBI single down the third base line to make it 7-1.

Baird went 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts. He walked a pair.

"I wanted to see him get a complete game, but he got a little tired in the sixth," said Shipley.

Trailing 9-1, Charleroi had its best chance to get back into the game in the sixth inning.

Matyas led off with a single and Watkins followed with a single to right to put runners on first and third.

Two runs scored on infield outs to make it 9-3 and the Cougars loaded the bases on three walks.

However, Gunnar Riley flied out to center to end the threat.

"We had our chances, but we couldn't come up with the big hit when we needed it," Corrin said. "Had we gotten one with the bases loaded in the sixth, who knows what might have happened?"

For the game, Matyas and Watkins had two hits each for Charleroi while Villinger had three and Galley and A.J. Gaffrey had two each for Southmoreland.

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