Roundup: Monessen ends 26-year baseball playoff drought

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

One of the area's longest playoff droughts has come to an end.

For the first time since 1987, the Monessen Greyhounds are playoff bound in baseball.

The Greyhounds picked up their ticket with a 17-1 three-inning rout over Geibel and Frazier's tough 8-7 loss to Bishop Canevin in Section 2 A.

Those games left Monessen (5-4, 6-9) alone in third place in the section.

Frazier (6-8, 4-5) can also get into the playoffs with a win over Geibel (1-11, 1-8) and a Monessen loss to Canevin (6-3, 6-2).

“I'm absolutely thrilled to be in the playoffs,” said Monessen coach Bill Matush, who has guided Monessen for 11 years.

“We came so close the last two years, missing the playoffs each time by one game. We've gotten our heart broken, so this feels especially sweet.”

Against Geibel, Justice Rawlins threw a one-hitter and struck out five to get the win.

Offensively, Dom Zboyovsky led a 10-hit attack with two hits.

Monessen sent 12 batters to the plate in the third inning, scoring nine runs.

“We have a young team and this will only help us in the future,” Matush said. “These kids now know that hard work pays off.”

Bishop Canevin 8, Frazier 7

The Commodores jumped to an early 3-1 lead and then fell behind 8-3 against the host Crusaders.

But Frazier battled back, scoring three runs in the fifth with Nick Smalich hitting a two-run single.

In the seventh, Frazier scored a run to close within 8-7 and had the tying run on second base when the final out was recorded.

The loss avenged an earlier 10-6 defeat the Commodores hung on the Crusaders.

Blake Herron and Jared Rebovich each had three hits for Frazier.

“We need to beat Geibel and hope Monessen loses to Canevin,” said Frazier coach Craig Kordich. “That's our only hope to get in the playoffs now.”

Washington 8, Charleroi 5

The Cougars (1-16, 0-12) battled the first place Prexies (10-4, 9-3) throughout the Section 2 AA contest.

Washington held a slim 5-4 lead before scoring three runs in the top of the seventh for breathing room.

Charleroi got three hits from freshman Mike Kondratic, including a double. Teammate Mitch Woytovich tripled.

Washington got a double and single from Lincoln Key and a two-run triple from Jonathan Spina.

E. Forward 4, Ringgold 3

In the wild Section 4 AAA race, EF (12-5, 6-4) moved into a second place tie with idle Belle Vernon Area and Thomas Jefferson with the close win.

Ringgold (3-10, 1-9) took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on an RBI single by Justin Rich and two runs scoring on an outfield error.

EF tied the game in the fourth and won it in the sixth when Ryan Wardropper singled home the winning run.

Jake Terrick had three hits for EF while Steve Welsh added a single and a double.

Winning pitcher Mark Adams scattered six singles and struck out eight.

California 10, Avella 5

The Trojans (12-4, 6-2) scored five runs in the first inning and never trailed in Section 1 A.

The win clinched a playoff berth for California.

Winning pitcher Brian Fisher helped his own cause with a double.

Yough 4, L. Highlands 2

The Cougars (9-8, 7-4) clinched its first playoff berth since 2007 with the win.

Yough scored two runs in the first inning and made LH (5-11, 2-8) chase the rest of the Section 2 AAA game.

In the bottom of the seventh, short stop Brad Bisko made a diving play and threw out a runner at first with runners on second and third to end the game.

Winning pitcher Cody Overly hit a double.

Greensburg Salem 13, BVA 6

Belle Vernon Area dropped a 13-6 non-section game to Greensburg Salem.

Dom Francia set one record and closed in on another in the defeat. He had a home run and a single. His homer was his seventh of the season and gives him 31 RBI. He now holds the single-season homer mark at BVA and is one RBI away from tying the single-season mark in that department.

Joe Simsic had two doubles and a single and Jake Hartman had two singles for the Leps (10-7).

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