Blue Dons top Brooke

WELLSBURG – Defending West Virginia Class A baseball champion Madonna got off to a strong start to the 2013 season with a 7-2 victory at Class AAA Brooke Saturday.

“It’s awesome,” said Madonna head coach T.J. Brancazio. “It’s always good to come into Brooke, a big school and (Brooke head coach Ron) coach Ujcich runs a good program, and get win.”

Luca Fuscardo and Tory Fuscardo combined to hold the Bruins to just four hits. Luca Fuscardo picked up the win, surrendering just one run on one hit over five frames. Tory Fuscardo finished the final two frames giving up an unearned run and three hits.

“I feel real good about the effort,” said Brancazio. “This is the third time we’ve been outside all spring so the kids responded well. The pitching has been real good in the gym.

“We looked real good. We got some clutch hits today from some guys. I’m real happy today.”

The Blue Dons opened the scoring with a pair in the second inning. Tory Fuscardo and Nick Mazur drew back-to-back one-out walks. Kaleb Baire picked up the first Madonna RBI of the season with a single that plated Tory Fuscardo. Mazur was put out on a Vinny Merico fielder’s choice that put Baire at second. Baire went on to steal third and then score on a passed ball to make the game 2-0 Blue Dons.

“We’ve got to be able to get outside and work on some things,” said Ujcich. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve only been out to the field about one time, and I think it showed on a few defensive plays. Just communication was a big key.

“Being able to get to some ground balls and make some routine plays. A few of those, if we make them, turns the tide of the game. Maybe we don’t give up as many runs.”

Luca Fuscardo pushed the lead to 3-0 with a third inning single that scored Nick Ossman.

Madonna broke things open with a three-spot in the fourth. Ossman and Mike Rogers did the damage with run-scoring singles. Rogers drove in Mazur with his hit with Ossman follwing up by knocking in Baire and Merico to put the score at 6-0 visitors after four.

Heath Hildreth earned the only hit the Bruins got off Luca Fuscardo in the fifth with a single that sent home Russell Schwertfeger.

Ossman scored on an error in the sixth for Madonna and Schwertfeger on a passed ball in the seventh for Brooke to make the final 7-2 Blue Dons.

“I thought our pitchers threw well,” said Ujcich. “They threw strikes. I thought for the most part we played good defense. We needed some timely hits, we didn’t do that, and that comes with time and reps as the season goes on.”

Both teams are scheduled for action Monday with Madonna (1-0) at city-rival Weir and Brooke headed to Linsly.