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Monessen rolls, nears playoff return

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 1:41 a.m.
Bob Kucmeroski / For The Valley Independent
Monessen's Brandon Lenhart fires a pitch during a 16-0 two-hitter over Clairton.
Courtesy photo
Belle Vernon Area Middle School White won the Trinity Tournament, beating West Greene, 2-1, in the title game. Pictured, in the front row from the left are, Morgan Susick, Mekenzie Sokol, Shelby Phillips, Mady Eversole and Lindsey Steeber. In the second row are Katie Benicky, Rebecca Parzynski, Jenna Kutcy, Samantha Parzynski and Maddie Holmes. In the third row are coach Kelly Parshall, Bailey Parshall, Shelby Brounce, Karly McBride, Alex Sokol and assistant coach John Sokol.

A season that once looked like it wouldn't bear any fruit is now on the verge of becoming another success story for Monessen's baseball team.

The Greyhounds are one win away from going to the WPIAL playoffs for the second straight year after blasting Clairton, 16-0, in four innings in a Section 2 A contest at Memorial Stadium Thursday.

Monessen (6-6, 5-3) hosts first place Serra at 3 p.m. Saturday before closing the regular season Monday against winless Geibel. A victory in either of those games or a loss by Frazier (4-8, 3-4) in one of the Commodores' three games punches Monessen's postseason ticket.

“We didn't wrap up anything yet,” said Monessen assistant coach Jim Smith, who coached the team while head coach Bill Matush sat out a one-game suspension for being ejected against Frazier last week. “This time of the year, it's all about maintaining your focus. We don't want to rely on anybody else. We want to do this ourselves.”

The Greyhounds, who have won four of their last five games after a 2-5 start, didn't depend on anybody against the Bears (1-7, 1-6).

They scored three runs in the first inning, six in the second and tacked on seven in the fourth.

Josh Kucmeroski had a triple and single for the Greyhounds, while Tyler Shash and Justice Rawlins also had two hits each.

Winning pitcher Brandon Lenhart pitched a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts and one walk.

“His curve really breaks,” said Smith of Lenhart. “I have never seen a pitcher who has better control of throwing a curve ball for a strike than a fast ball.”

Brownsville 11, Bentworth 4

The Falcons (11-4, 9-2) won the Section 2 AA game against Bentworth (7-10, 2-9) as Shane Roebuck had three hits, including a triple, and drove home a pair of runs.

Teammate Jacob Rechichar had a double and three RBI.

For Bentworth, Ken Ryan had a double.

Greensburg Salem 12, Yough 8

The Cougars (4-10, 2-8) bowed in Section 2 AAA, despite jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Yough will close the season at Mt. Pleasant Monday.

SoftballJefferson-Morgan 5, Monessen 0

The Lady Rockets (13-2, 10-2) moved a half-game ahead of idle Carmichaels into first place in Section 2 A with the shutout over Monessen (6-9, 4-8).

No other information was available on the game.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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