Connellsville baseball team collects 3rd straight victory
After three disappointing section losses to start April, the Connellsville baseball team may be starting to turn a corner.
The Falcons opened the month with losses to Norwin, Latrobe and Kiski Area, but have bounced back with clutch section wins over Penn-Trafford and Hempfield. On Monday, Connellsville picked up its third straight victory by beating visiting Yough, 9-4, in a nonsection game.
The Falcons (4-3) scored all nine of their runs in the first two innings by taking advantage of shaky pitching and defense by the Cougars (3-5). Connellsville had only five hits.
“We didn't do a lot, but we didn't have to,” Connellsville coach Rob Orndorff said. “We were able to work the count, and our batters didn't swing at bad pitches. And we had a couple of big hits. Mike Parlak hit the ball well.”
Things didn't start great for Connellsville. Yough opened the game with two runs in the first inning. Luke Spisak tripled and scored on a double by Brad Bisko off Connellsville starting pitcher Ryan Huey. Cody Overly followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
“We started off slow,” Orndorff said, pointing out that Saturday against Hempfield the Falcons came out strong with solid pitching and defense. They were unable to do that against Yough. “The pitching plays a key role, and we didn't set the tone.”
Fortunately for Connellsville, Yough also failed to set a positive tone.
In the bottom of the first, the Falcons scored six runs on just two hits. Brock Bonadio, Evan Onusko and Cameron Bernhardt each reached base and scored on a wild pitch or a passed ball. Parlak reached on an error and picked up an RBI. J.R. Blocker and Bonadio drew bases-loaded walks. Yough pitcher Rod Gadagno started but didn't get out of the first inning.
In the second inning, Connellsville made it 9-2. A pair of Yough errors helped to load the bases, and Parlak hit a three-run double off pitcher Nolan Kosh.
“We have two section games this week, so we saved our top three arms,” Yough coach Jeremy Zufall said.
One bright spot for Yough was that it outhit Connellsville, 9-5.
“We had three guys with seven hits, and we need others to contribute if we want to win our section,” Zufall said. “We have to step it up.”
Yough's Spisak hit a two-run homer in the fourth, but the Cougars got no closer. Bonadio came in and got the final out in the fourth, then followed up with three scoreless innings. In three-plus innings, Bonadio didn't allow a hit. He struck out four and walked three.
“Brock did a very good job,” Orndorff said. “Brock will throw strikes and he is a competitor who will battle, and he did that.”
The Falcons will try to make it four in a row when they visit Albert Gallatin on Thursday.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.