REPUBLIC — Zach Uhazie had a no-hitter through five innings and Masontown pieced together three big innings for an 8-0 road victory Tuesday night over the Fayette Raiders in Fayette County Baseball League action.
Payton Conte broke up Uhazie’s no-hit bid with an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Masontown shortstop Colby Simmons made a nice play on the ball hit up the middle, but his throw was late to get the hustling Conte. The inning ended on a strikeout.
Fayette (1-3) threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning after Anthony Dellapenna led off with a sharp single to left field and Kyle Ridley worked a walk.
Uhazie retired the next two batters by strikeouts looking, but Dylan Bohna walked to load the bases. Uhazie then ended the game the way the right-hander started it, with a strikeout.
Uhazie was in command throughout the game, especially early on when he struck out eight batters in the first three innings. He finished with 18 strikeouts.
“Zach, he was on fire. He hit his spots. He was on his game. He was focused,” praised Masontown manager John Palmer.
Shandon Marshall was the only Fayette runner to reach base in the first three innings on a dropped third strike in the bottom of the third.
Uhazie walked Josh Davison to open the fourth inning, but worked out of any trouble with a force at second base and two strikeouts swinging.
Hunter Perry walked to open the fifth inning, but was picked off after a rundown. Bohna walked with two outs, but Uhazie ended the threat with another strikeout.
“We can’t score. We can’t get on base,” said Fayette manager Vince Dellapenna.
Fayette’s Josiah Fisher was equally tough in the first three innings. He allowed a game-opening double by Santino Marra, but then retired the next nine batters, four by strikeout.
Masontown (2-2) finally got to Fisher in the fourth inning.
Marra opened the inning with a single and moved to third on Chad Petrush’s double. Willie Palmer popped out to second base for the first out.
Nate Zimcosky zipped a grounder that hit the backside of third base for a two-run double. Fisher struck out Uhazie for the second out, but Christian Forsythe singled Zimcosky home. Forsythe advanced to third base when the ball kicked away for a two-base error.
Michael Coll flew out to deep left field for the third out.
Petrush extended the visitors’ lead with a two-run double in the fifth inning. Petrush finished with two doubles, a single and two RBI.
Zimcosky walked to start the top of the sixth inning and moved to second on Uhazie’s infield single. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball.
Forsythe hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Coll followed with a slicing drive that landed inside the left field line for a run-scoring double. Kaine Frye grounded out to third base for the second out.
Reed Long singled home Coll, but was caught in a rundown after he looked to extend the hit into a double.
Fisher was pulled after the sixth inning. The left-hander allowed 10 hits, walked only one and struck out five.
“It was enough,” Vince Dellapenna said of the decision to remove Fisher. “He told us he wanted to go the distance and save our arms.”
Dellapenna hopes Fisher’s solid start will become the norm for the Raiders.
“Our pitching is coming around now. In the last three games, it’s coming around. Our starters are able to go longer now,” said Dellapenna.
John Palmer was pleased to see the offense come alive the fourth game into its season.
“We’ve been inconsistent with our bats so far. With rain outs and Carmichaels’ late start, we only have one game a week. We need to be more consistent than that,” said Palmer, adding, “Santino (Marra) gave us great at-bats.”
With only four of the six teams making the playoffs, Vince Dellapenna said the Raiders need to start putting their game together.
“We’ll take it one game at a time. We’ll give everything we have,” said Dellapenna.