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History for Monessen baseball?

| Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weather permitting, some history may be made Thursday in Monessen.

A second round WPIAL Class A baseball playoff game is scheduled at Memorial Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

No one can remember if Monessen has ever hosted a post-season baseball game.

If the rain doesn't postpone today's contests, Monessen will get the winner of the California-Carmichaels and Bentworth-Cornell games.

With California and Bentworth being the third and sixth seeds, there's a good chance the Greyhounds' two Section 2 rivals will be returning to Monessen.

California was a 6-0 winner at Monessen this season while the Bearcats dropped a 2-1 decision at the Greyhounds' field. The defeat cost Bentworth a share of the section title because Dion Jansante's club finished a game behind the Trojans.

The Greyhounds haven't made the baseball playoffs in more than two decades.

The last time was 1987 when the Greyhounds, coached for the sixth year by Bob Freado, finished tied for second in the section with Frazier.

The WPIAL baseball committee didn't do Monessen any favor by giving the Greyhounds the top seed and defending WPIAL champion Fort Cherry.

Monessen was a 5-1 loser at Charleroi to the top-seed Rangers.

Ray Roskos was on the mound for Monessen with Bill Halinka behind the plate.

The Greyhounds' infield showed Bill Snider, Mike Joseph, Luis Barcenas and Jeff Frolo from first to third with centerfielder Jason Giglitto flanked in left first Todd Novilbilsky and then Jim Smith and in right by Aaron Kunder.

Monessen's last section champs were in 1985. The Greyhounds took the Section 20 crown with a 12-2 record, a game ahead of Mon Valley Catholic.

Brian Niccolai was Monessen's top pitcher with Halinka catching, an infield of Andy Pacak, Erik Keffel, Bill Matush and Jeff Dragan and the outfield including Sam Vasquez, Mike Grogan, Herb Lippincott, Eugene Sedlak and Mark Kunsa with Tim Bukowski designated hitter.

The Greyhounds were a 5-3 loser to South Allegheny at Charleroi in the playoffs. Monessen had to go without cleanup hitter Grogan, who was sidelined by an in-school suspension.

n California University came within two points of winning a second straight Dixon Trophy as the PSAC's top athletic program.

Shippensburg won it for a record sixth time with 161 1/2 points followed by the Vulcans (159 1/2), Kutztown (152 1/2), Bloomsburg (1481/2) and West Chester (146).

The Vulcans totaled 73 of their points during the spring season with six of the women's sports accounting for 92 of a possible 96 points. Cal won conference titles in baseball, women's golf and women's tennis with second in softball and sixth in men's outdoor track and field.

Shippensburg won PSAC championships in football, women's cross-country, women's indoor track and field and men's and women's outdoor track ad field.

Last year California edged Shippensburg by three points in winning the Dixon Trophy for the first time in history.

n And thanks to Joe Colosimo of West Newton, who says old politicians never die -- they just become devoted!

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