Bellefonte’s Dominic Masullo beat the elements and Philipsburg-Osceola on Thursday, throwing a two-hitter in a 10-0, five-inning game that barely beat a round of showers that would have turned the already soggy field into a quagmire.
As it was it took five bags of Diamond Dry to make the field playable after a pre-game shower that lasted into the second inning.
Not that it mattered to Masullo, who was in total command until the bottom of the fifth when he gave up both hits and a walk to load the bases before shortstop Darren Heeman made a leaping backhand catch of Derek Shaw’s line drive and doubled Ryan Kost off at second to end the game.
Prior to that Masullo had allowed only two runners on a pair of walks while striking out eight in the season-opener for both teams.
“It’s tough when you see a kid like that right off the bat,’’ said P-O coach Doug Sankey. “My hat’s off to him, pitching off that mound and having command like that. Considering the conditions today he pitched a great game. You do the best you can to simulate that in practice but it’s just not the same.”
Masullo also helped himself with the bat, contributing an RBI-double in a six-run second-inning uprising that turned out to be insurmountable for the Mounties.
Logan Mathieu lit the fuse on the rally when he hammered an opposite-field homer to left to lead off the second.
“Logan’s a hitter,” said Raider coach Jeremy Rellinger. “He manages the zone pretty well. When you square up the ball, sometimes things like that happen.”
The Raiders followed with three successive hits off starter Isaac Knepp as Trent Fortney and Zach Musser singled and Masullo doubled. An outfield error and a passed ball added to P-O’s problems before Shaw got out of further trouble with a pair of ground ball outs and a strikeout.
The Raiders added a pair of runs in the third on a walk to Fortney, a single by Musser and a single by Heeman that chased Shaw and brought on Tanner Lamb for the final out of the inning.
At the same time, Masullo was allowing only one runner through the first three innings before issuing a walk and hitting Logan Williamson to put runners at second and third with no out sin the fourth. But he got a pair of strikeouts and an infield out to shut off the rally.
“We expect good things from him,’’ Rellinger said. “He’s put the work in.’’
The Raiders put their final two runs on the board in the top of the fifth when a walk to Heeman, a single by Vance Przybys and a two-out single by Mathieu made it 10-0.
“This will be a good confidence game for us,’’ Rellinger said. “At the start of the season you have to have confidence. We have done the work in practice and prepared as much as possible. These were tough conditions today and I’m glad they (P-O) put in the effort to get the game in. It was extremely good of them to do that.’’
The Raiders tagged Knepp and Lamb for eight hits and also worked them for six walks.
“We got ourselves in some bad situations,’’ Sankey said. “Kneppy wasn’t able to throw one curveball for a strike and that cost him. And Tanner had trouble locating his fastball.’’
Designated hitter Cam Domblisky got the first hit off Masullo, a one-out bloop single into short right field.