Finding pitchers will be key if Yough baseball team is to succeed

Thursday, March 24, 2022 | 5:48 PM

When Yough opens the baseball season Friday against Jeannette, the biggest thing Cougars coach Craig Spisak will be looking at is who will compose his pitching staff.

Yough graduated its top two pitchers — Vinny Martin and Sean Royer — so Spisak is searching for who will compile the most innings this season.

The top candidates are senior Allen Novacek, senior Christian Park, junior James Showman and junior Carson Pasinski. If they do well, then the Cougars could be tough to beat.

“I’m looking to them to snag the bulk of the innings,” Spisak said. “We’re looking for the next three, four five guys that we count on in a pinch.”

Those guys who could see innings if needed include senior Kaden Bizzozero and juniors Gavin Roebuck, Korvyn Johnson and Jack Sampson.

Because of lousy weather the first week of practice, Yough ended up having scrimmages back-to-back days. Spisak was able to get a look at a lot of his pitchers against Norwin (Monday) and Latrobe (Tuesday).

“Because of the WPIAL scheduling consecutive days, it worked out well for us,” Spisak said. “We’re a work in progress. We have a battle at first base and a spot in the outfield. Actually, we have competition at all positions.”

Yough returns nine lettermen from a team that finished 6-8 overall and 6-4 in Section 4-3A.

Novacek will catch when he’s not on the hill. Johnson is slotted at second base, Sampson at shortstop and senior Taylor Odelli and Roebuck at third. Sophomore Zander Aird is a player Spisak said he will use at various positions.

Park will play right field, and Showman will man center field. Pasinski, Johnson and Aird also could see time in the outfield.

The first base battle is between Bizzozero, junior Bobby Etze and junior Milan Aujay.

Spisak hopes senior outfielder Tristan Waldier will help out if he is cleared by doctors after getting injured in a vehicle accident.

“We have competition at every position,” Spisak said. “We have a lot of guys who played as sophomores. I’m eager to see them take it to the next level.”

Spisak said the section should be strong with McGuffey the favorite.

“There will be no easy games in the section,” Spisak said. “McGuffey and Waynesburg return a lot. Charleroi was young. Brownsville is well-coached and always competitive, and Southmoreland is led by Anthony Govern. The section is wide open.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs, try to win the section and advance in the playoffs. I saw some good things in our scrimmages, and I saw some bad. We just need to continue to work hard.”

Yough lost a 5-4 decision to Deer Lakes in the WPIAL playoffs.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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