Share This Page

Matush: Hounds looking for more

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Indepndent
Monessen's Head Baseball Coach Bill Matush.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi's Zachary Nabozny slides into home as Monessen's catcher Tyler Shash tags him out at the plate, in the bottom of the 3rd inning. At Vets Field in Charleroi. On April 1,2013. Charleroi won the non-section game, 6-2. See story in the Sports Digest on Page 2B.

Coming off of their first playoff appearance in 26 years, can the Monessen Greyhounds' baseball team top its season from a year ago?

If you ask 12th-year coach Bill Matush, the Greyhounds are back for more.

“This season is probably the highest expectations I have ever had for one of our teams,” he said. “This is a super group of kids and I told the team that for the first time in 12 years, I think that we can beat everyone we play.”

It is understandable that Matush feels this way when you consider that he returns nine of the 10 starters he had a year ago from his team that lost in the first round of the Class A playoffs to eventual WPIAL runner-up, Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

The Hounds return two all-section players in juniors Josh Kucmeroski and Noah Rullo.

Kucmeroski is the shortstop and will also pitch while Rullo will be in the outfield.

Monessen has seven seniors who will be on the field, and when asked about leadership, Matush did not hesitate.

“With seven seniors, leadership is not a problem,” he said. “These guys have been there before.”

The seniors returning with experience include catcher Tyler Shash, first baseman Jonathan Kravets, second baseman Nate Moon, third baseman Justice Rawlins, and outfielder Luke Doptis.

Rullo, Doptis, Justice Tartt, and Dominic Zboyovsky will all see time in the outfield.

Sophomore Brandon Lenhart will also play third opposite of Rawlins.

If one is pitching, the other will be at the hot corner.

Kravets and Kucmeroski will also get some innings on the mound.

Another player that Matush mentioned and is high on is freshman Justice Rice.

“Justice doesn't really have a set position, but he will be getting playing time somewhere,” Matush said. “He just started coming around.

“I wish we had him all winter.”

As far as a key for a successful season, Matush didn't hesitate.

“If we can score four or five runs a game, we will be in pretty good shape,” he said. “Our pitching and defense will be our strong points, but we have to score some runs.”

Monessen is at Chartiers-Houston Friday and at Jefferson-Morgan Saturday in exhibition games.

In fact, Monessen has eight exhibition games scheduled before it opens up section play at Bishop Canevin on April 4.

“I'm not sure if we will get them all in because of the weather, but it will give us time to get things going headed into section play,” Matush said.

Monessen is in Section 2-A along with Bishop Canevin, Clairton, Frazier, Geibel, and perennial power Serra.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer Trib Total Media.

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.