Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Canon-Mac baseball enjoying first place

Raise your hand if you predicted the Canon-McMillan baseball team would be in first place eight games into the Section 5-AAAA season.

Both of mine are still on the keyboard.

Yet here we are, the Big Macs have wins over Upper St. Clair and Brashear, as well as a 7-6 decision over Peters Township back on April 18. That ignited a five-game winning streak that continued Tuesday with a 7-6, walk-off win over Mt. Lebanon, one made possible with Zack Pollack's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Jared Beach.

"We've been finding a way to get it done," head coach Frank Zebrasky told me Monday.

Here's what he means:

>>Starting catcher Ryan Gillaspie was lost with a torn labrum prior to the season. What happens? Buzz Boggio -- great baseball name, by the way -- steps in behind the plate and had thrown out 15 of 18 runners prior to the Mt. Lebanon game.

"The last few years we've had a tough time throwing people out," Zebrasky said. "That helps the pitching staff out a lot to be able to do that."

>>Kevin Forrester has been a workhorse as a pitcher -- he worked four against the Blue Devils, though Luke Blanock got the win -- center fielder Brandon Kildare is hitting close to .500, and Beach has solidified right field.

>>Frank Fortunato had hits in 15 of his past 22 at-bats and eight of his past 11.

The Big Macs did strand 16 runners during a 4-2 win over Trinity on April 22, so there's one thing to work on. "It's hard to leave 16 when the max you can leave is 21," Zebrasky said. But, hey, pretty impressive for Canon-Mac.

Big week, too: C-M is at Bethel Park Wednesday and home against Peters Township Friday. Both games start at 4 p.m.

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