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Frazier baseball team eliminated from playoff contention

| Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 9:21 p.m.
Celeste Van Kirk | Daily Courier
Frazier's Hunter Patterson steals home in front of teammate Darin Ohler and Bishop Canevin catcher Zach Cortese during the fourth inning of a Section 2-A game Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Perryopolis.

Coming off back-to-back shutout victories, the Frazier baseball team hoped to keep momentum rolling.

But the Commodores' modest two-game winning streak came to a halt as Bishop Canevin notched a 5-2 victory over host Frazier in a Section 2-A game Tuesday.

The loss officially eliminated Frazier from playoff contention.

“We hung around,” Frazier coach Craig Kordich said in regards to his team's ability to stay in playoff contention until the end.

“It came down to the last three games that we had to win. They battled hard all year. They just came up a little short.”

With the victory, the Crusaders are battling for the top spot in the section. Bishop Canevin's win, coupled with Monessen's victory over Serra gives Bishop Canevin and Serra a share of the top spot in the standings.

Bishop Canevin can clinch at least a share of the section crown with a win over Geibel in a suspended game Wednesday. The Crusaders hold a 5-0 lead in the game, which was suspended in the second inning because of rain earlier this season.

The chance for Bishop Canevin to grab at least a portion of the title was made possible by a solid effort against Frazier.

“It keeps the momentum rolling,” Bishop Canevin coach Dale Checketts said. “We've been playing good baseball the last two weeks.”

The Crusaders (9-3, 7-2) have won six games in a row, and against Frazier, they leaned on starting pitcher Mitchell Tauffer.

The right-hander responded with a complete-game three-hitter.

“He was in complete control,” Checketts said. “He kept in rhythm, and he attacked the strike zone.”

Tauffer struck out 10 and walked three.

Bishop Canevin built a 4-0 lead through the first three innings against Frazier starter Hunter Patterson.

In the first, Sam Smallhoover walked and scored on an error. Then in the third, Zach Cortese, Mark DeSchon and Cameron Kohan delivered RBI singles.

Three of the runs charged to Patterson were unearned as Frazier committed three errors in the first three innings.

The Commodores (6-9, 5-5) got an unearned run of their own in the fourth as Patterson reached on an error and stole home with two outs.

The teams traded runs in the fifth. DeSchon was hit by a pitch by Roger Cline, and he scored on a groundout by Garrett Godlewski.

Frazier, held hitless through the first four innings, managed to put two hits together in the fifth. With one out, Chaise Bertocci singled, then moved to third on a double by Travis Sanner.

Bertocci scored on a groundout by Cody Morris. That was as close as the Commodores could get.

“Obviously, if you give up five runs, you've got to score some runs,” Kordich said. “Scoring only two runs, you won't win many games. Their pitcher threw a heck of a game. We were hoping for one big inning, but it didn't happen.”

Frazier originally was scheduled to play Yough on Wednesday, but the game has been postponed. The game might be played Thursday, but plans have not yet been finalized.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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