Hazaga, Serra defeat Bishop Canevin for third time this season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When Chad Hazaga found out that Serra Catholic's quarterfinal playoff game against Bishop Canevin was at West Mifflin's nearly all-turf baseball complex, the first thing he did was go shopping.
With Titan Park not permitting metal cleats to be worn even on its dirt pitcher's mound, Hazaga made the trip to Dunham's for some suitable footwear.
Hazaga may have been forced out of his comfort zone with different shoes, but the results looked all too similar to Canevin.
Hazaga scattered six hits and surrendered one run over seven innings to beat the Crusaders for the third time in less than four weeks. Serra advanced to the Class A semifinals for the sixth time in seven years with a 10-1 victory.
No. 1 Serra (18-1) will play No. 5 Western Beaver (16-2), a 6-1 winner over Carmichaels, on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“I really wasn't used to the mound and pitching with rubber cleats,” Hazaga said. “It was kind of hard to get used to them.”
Serra coach Brian Dzurenda had some words of advice for the senior right-hander about his shoe problem.
“I told him he had to adjust,” Dzurenda said.
Actually, Hazaga didn't have to do much adjusting when it came to his approach. The prior two outings against Canevin worked out just fine.
Hazaga beat the Crusaders on April 18 by allowing just four hits and one run while striking out eight. Two weeks later, Hazaga held Canevin (8-6) to two runs over seven innings. He didn't walk a batter in either game.
“They just can't seem to figure him out,” Dzurenda said. “When we were figuring out how we wanted our rotation to go at the start of the playoffs, that definitely played a factor in it.”
Serra's offense gave Hazaga plenty of support.
The Eagles scored five in the first and had six of their nine hits after two innings.
Brandon Coddington went 3 for 3 with a RBI, David Glumac added a triple, single and two RBI, and Wayne Hydak and Dylan Kugler knocked in a pair of runs each to make Canevin starter Cameron Kohan the loser.
Kohan lasted only 11⁄3 innings but didn't get much help from his defense.
“We just misplayed a couple of balls there that set the table up for them and a couple of fly balls that we needed to take better angles and help the pitcher out,” Canevin coach Dale Checketts said. “The pitcher didn't do anything wrong. We just didn't play defense behind him.”
Reliever Mitchell Tauffer relieved Kohan in the second and struck out six of the first seven batters he faced.
“They guy I wanted on the mound started the game,” Checketts said. “We liked what Kohan did for us this year, and we were looking for somebody to come in and throw strikes, and that's what he did.”
Parker Janosko led off the first with a single, and when Coddington beat out a sacrifice bunt and Hydak was walked with one out, Serra was in business with the bases loaded.
After Janosko scored on a passed ball, Hazaga singled in a run to make it 2-0. An error on shortstop Nico DiPaolo followed by a triple by Glumac gave Serra a 5-0 lead.
“We knocked the cover off the ball in the first inning,” Dzurenda said. “It was just a blue-collar performance from our kids. They just came to play.”
Canevin had chances in the second, third and fourth innings, but Hazaga was able to limit the Crusaders to a fourth-inning Zack Cortese RBI double.
“We just never got that big hit we needed,” Checketts said.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribwebcom or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.