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Loss keeps Frazier baseball out of playoffs

Lori Padilla | Daily Courier
Frazier's Casey Henry slides into second base with a double while Waynesburg's Willie Ziefel gloves a throw during the second inning of Friday's game.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012, 12:53 a.m.
 

One bad inning has been the culprit in many of the Frazier baseball team's losses this season.

On Friday, it not only cost the Commodores a shot at a victory, it also kept them out of the WPIAL playoffs.

In a critical Section 2-AA contest, visiting Waynesburg broke a scoreless tie with six runs in the seventh inning on its way to a 6-0 victory.

Waynesburg (11-5, 8-5) can clinch a playoff spot with a win at home against Washington on Monday or any loss by the Prexies in their final three section games. It was a devastating loss for the Commodores because they can finish no higher than fourth in the section, meaning they'll miss the postseason.

The game featured great pitching through six innings. Frazier's Adam Cook and Waynesburg's Alex Swauger took turns shutting down the opposing offense.

Swauger was particularly dominant: He pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts, and Casey Henry's double in the second inning was the only extra-base hit for Frazier (10-9, 6-7).

Cook matched Swauger early by escaping jams. Waynesburg stranded a runner in scoring position each of the first four innings.

But in the seventh, the Raiders broke through. Several walks helped put runners at the corners, and Willie Ziefel connected with an RBI single to make it 1-0. Another walk loaded the bases, and Stephen McCaw cleared them by belting a grand slam to left.

“I was real nervous, but (coach Kevin Pincavitch) told me to relax,” McCaw said. “He threw me a fastball, and I just took it. I didn't think about it. I just swung.”

The Commodores used three pitchers in the seventh and gave up seven walks before finally getting back in the dugout. By that time, the outcome was all but decided, especially with the way Swauger was throwing. He recorded two strikeouts in the final frame to seal the win.

“We battled through a couple of jams, but we couldn't get out of the last one,” Frazier coach Craig Kordich said. “It's happened with us like that all year.”

The Commodores conclude the regular season Monday at Southmoreland.

“I'm just thinking about us getting one more section win,” Kordich said.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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