Golden Cavs hold off late surge to start WPBL season 2-0

Thursday, June 25, 2020 | 9:27 PM

When the Kiski Area Golden Cavs took on Gateway last Thursday in the Western Pennsylvania Baseball League, they didn’t score until the fourth inning.

So, for Thursday’s contest against the Independent Players, Kiski Area coach Aaron Albert asked his team to get started a little quicker and his team answered the call.

Led by Billy Perroz’s two-RBI triple in the second inning, the Golden Cavs scored five runs in the first two innings and cruised to a 5-3 win over the Independent Players to improve to 2-0 on the WPBL season.

“I asked them to get started early, but I guess I didn’t specify that we needed to keep scoring,” Albert said. “It seems like they wanted those five runs to stand up apparently.”

Derek Hald reached on a single to left field early in the first inning and Dom Dinnino, Hald’s pinch-runner, scored on a throwing error to kick things off. Kiski Area was just getting started, though, as it went on to score four runs in the second inning.

The first three Golden Cavs hitters reached base in the second before Garrett Polka drove a ball to the outfield, scoring Franklin Dinnino on a sacrifice fly. Then, two batters later, Perroz, an IUP commit, drove a ball to the right field fence for a bases-clearing triple.

Perroz struck out during his first at-bat and said he took a different approach for the remainder of the game.

“It was just my timing,” said Perroz, who went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple. “I told coach before the game that I was feeling good and after that strikeout, I just felt like I had to change something. So I went up with a different approach and hit that triple to the other side.”

Hald drove in Perroz with an RBI double to put the Golden Cavs ahead for good. Through two innings of work, Kiski Area touched up Independent Players starting pitcher Phil Walsh (Burrell) for four hits and five runs. But in the top of the third inning, Tyler Wood (St. Joseph) stepped onto the mound and silenced the Golden Cavs bats for good.

The Saint Vincent-bound right-hander threw five innings and allowed just two hits while striking out five to keep his team in the ballgame.

“He was locating his pitches,” Players coach Jim Basilone said. “He was locating his fastball, getting his curveball over here and there and he was working.”

Ryan Rametta got the start for the Golden Cavs. He threw five innings, didn’t allow a hit until the third and struck out five.

“That’s a Ryan Rametta start. Come out, pump strikes and does what he can do,” Albert said. “He’s still 60-80 pitches too. We are not going to let him go 100 yet. So we got exactly what we thought we were going to get.”

The Players got to the Washington & Jefferson recruit in the sixth inning and knocked him out of the game after two straight hits to start the frame. They scored their first run on a throwing error, and Dom Kurn came around to score their second run on a fielder’s choice by Joe Lang (North Allegheny).

“We have a real young team, with a lot of these guys, but we’re getting better,” Basilone said. “The thing is the first two innings are killing us every game. It’s not like we’re not getting the strikes or making the plays and again tonight, we didn’t swing aggressively until late in the game and it showed.”

Although the Players got into the run column, Carson Craig shut the door. The Kiski Area rising-senior threw two innings of relief, scattered two hits and struck out one.

“That’s exactly what we want him to do,” Albert said.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .

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