Golden Bears hand Blue Dons second loss
WEIRTON – The Oak Glen Golden Bears made it two wins in as many weeks over Madonna Tuesday, combining good pitching and timely hitting while taking advantage of five Blue Don errors for a 7-4 come-from-behind win at Ed Bowman Field.
The Golden Bears were shut out through five innings by Madonna’s Tory Furscardo, but broke through for six runs in the top of the sixth inning sending 11 batters to the plate.
Meanwhile, junior mound ace Bub Haddox came on in the fourth inning to pitch four shutout innings and pick up the win. While pitching to only two batters Michael Rodgers sustained the Blue Dons’ loss.
Madonna has lost two of six games thus far, but both losses have come at the hands of the Golden Bears.
“You can’t win giving up five errors,” said Blue Don coach T.J. Brancazio. “I don’t think it was a case of Tory Fuscardo running out of gas, we just didn’t field the ball well behind him. Then Haddox came in and pitched well. We hit the ball off him, but we just made mental mistakes and errors on the field. You can’t do that and win games.”
Going into the game with revenge on their minds, the Blue Dons scored all four of their runs in the first three innings off of Oak Glen starter Tyler Click. Madonna got five of its eight hits off Click.
“We played two innings,” said first year Oak Glen coach Mat Deveaney. “We were pretty dormant the first five innings. We didn’t get off to a good start hitting the ball – we haven’t been. We are relying too much on the big inning. That’s one thing we have to change. We had a five-run inning against Madonna in the first game last week.”
The big inning came in the top of the sixth when leadoff hitter Matt McLaughlin worked Fuscardo for a walk. He was erased when Tyler Steed grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Steed and the next five batters scored.
Steed scored on a Trey Smith single to center field and Haddox trotted home when an errant throw from the outfield trying to get him at third base went out of play. Alex Wedgewood walked to put runners on the corners. He was the last batter that Fuscardo faced.
Michael Rodgers, who did not start in his customary spot at second base because of an injured left wrist, came on in relief to face designated hitter, Andrew Bailey. Bailey hit a bouncer to third base, but the Dons couldn’t make the play at home on a sliding Smith.
“We got the ground ball we wanted, but we didn’t make the play and perhaps it wasn’t a good decision to go home in that situation,” Brancazio explained.
Rodgers walked Alec Swiger to load the bases forcing Brancazio to bring in his pitching ace, Luca Fuscardo, to protect a one-run lead.
Freshman Zac Porter greeted Fuscardo with a smash to left center field that drove home Wedgewood and Bailey. The next batter, Kyle Woodruff hit a dribbler to the right of the mound that Fuscardo fielded and threw to first base, but the ball got away allowing Swiger to score the sixth run.
The Golden Bears tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Haddox led off with a single to right, his second hit of the game. He stole second and raced home when Wedgewood singled to left field.
“Porter is a freshman coming off the bench and that was a key hit he got in the rally,” said Deveaney, whose team improved to 4-5.
“He is showing maturity as a freshman and is hitting the ball. And Alex Wedgewood also got a key hit in the seventh to drive in an insurance run. He has been hitting the ball well, too.”
Luca Fuscardo drove in sophomore shortstop Kaleb Baire in the first inning and scored two more runs in the second inning on a Tory Fuscardo RBI single and two straight Oak Glen wild pitches.
Luca Fuscardo scored in the third after working a walk and racing home from third base on an Oak Glen error.
Madonna travels to Wheeling Central Thursday while Oak Glen returns home to face East Liverpool today.
Oak Glen 7, Madonna 4
Oak Glen 000 006 1 – 7 7 4
Madonna 121 000 0 – 4 8 5
OAK GLEN (4-5): Click (1K, 1BB), Haddox (4, WP, 4K, 6BB) and Smith. Haddox 2S, R, SB; McLaughlin 2B, SB; Smith S, RBI, R, Wedgewood S, RBI, R, Bailey R, Swiger R, Porter S, 2RBI, Woodruff S.
MADONNA (4-2): T. Fuscardo (2K, 0BB), Rogers (LP, 0K, 1BB), L. Fuscardo (1K, 0BB) and Ossman; L. Fuscardo S, 2B, R, RBI; Baire 2B, R; Merico S; Bowser S; Ossman S; Mazur S, R, T. Fuscardo S, RBI, R.