By John Froese
Zero after zero was cast onto the scoreboard at the Woodside Sports Complex in Mauston, Wisconsin. Thanks to an absolutely dominating pitching performance courtesy of the starting pitching staff that included two complete games and a six-inning shutout.
“Their confidence on the mound all weekend was incredible.” Said senior catcher Jace Wyatt. “They believed in their stuff and knew our defense was going to make plays for them and got rewarded because of it.”
This led to an absolutely crucial 3-1 series win that will serve as a huge conference booster as the Saints march deeper into conference play.
In game one, timely hitting and quality defense was all junior pitcher Chris D’Amico needed in the series opener, as he threw the complete nine-inning game in a 5-1 victory for PC.
The saints got on the board early thanks to RBI groundouts by freshman third basemen Gilbert Aguilar in the second and senior first basemen Anthony Guzman in the third. The Saints were able to build on their lead in the fifth thanks to a clutch two out, bases loaded single by junior outfielder Johnny Radomsky that brought in two and stretched the lead to 4-0.
The Saints were also able to scratch across another run in the ninth thanks to an RBI single by Guzman. This proved to be no more than a cherry on the sundae because D’Amico had this game under control, going the distance and finishing with allowing only 1 earned run while striking out seven batters.
The Saints brought out both the bats and the arms to complete the day one sweep of Viterbo, as every Saint in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit. Junior Colin Crandall threw the complete seven inning game while surrendering only 2 unearned runs in a 6-2 win.
The Saints barrage scored in nearly every inning, starting with Guzman’s RBI single in the first, followed by junior outfielder Zane Hunt’s RBI double in the second and RBI single in the fourth.
Aguliar decided to jump into the act as well with an RBI single in the fifth. Wyatt and sophomore catcher Kyle Angielski hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth as well to deflate any chances that Viterbo thought they had of mounting of a comeback.
Once again however, PC pitching was the story of the game as Crandall went the distance without surrendering a single earned run while striking out four.
The Saints fell in heartbreaking fashion in game three, as the V-hawks were able to rally with two runs in the bottom of the ninth and defeat PC 5-4.
The Saints bats were quite early but were able to make some noise in the sixth thanks to an RBI double by Radomskiy which scored Guzman and put pinch runner Qadar Njuguna on third.
Njuguna then scored on the next at bat thanks to a wild pitch which gave the Saints a 2-1 lead.
The V-hawks were able to get one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning which tied the game back up. PC was able to regain their lead in the seventh thanks to an RBI single by Hunt and an RBI groundout by Guzman.
This time though, Viterbo refused to go down without a fight as they were able to push a run across in the seventh and in the ninth V-Hawk designated hitter Nick Glunz smacked a double just outside the reach of Aguilar at third that walked off the Saints and gave Viterbo their first win of the series.
Junior Joey Wollman was excellent for the Saints on the mound going 5 1/3 innings while surrendering two runs (only one earned) while striking out one. Juniors CJ Canfield and Brendan Delgado both pitched well in relief, as both hurlers went 1 1/3 innings without surrendering an earned run and striking out one.
Junior Austin Crain took the loss for PC as he was unable to record an out before surrendering the 2 runs that gave Viterbo their first win of the weekend.
It may have taken some extra time, but the Saints were able to secure the series win in the last game of the series as they outlasted the V-hawks in a ten-inning marathon 4-0.
The PC bats were held in check through nine innings of play, and finally broke through in the tenth, as courtesy runner Njuguna scored the first run of the game on an errant pickoff through.
Later in the at bat senior outfielder/pitcher Jesse Spangler roped an RBI double that kept the rally going. Guzman kept the scoring streak alive later in the inning with an RBI groundout and sophomore pitcher/outfielder Dryden Kaczmar kept the floodgates open with an RBI single that extended the lead to 4-0.
On the mound, freshman BJ Wyche was outstanding for the Saints, as he hurled six scoreless innings while allowing only three hits and striking out four. Kaczmar came in to relieve Wyche and was exceptional himself, throwing two innings without allowing a hit and striking out three.
Spangler came in after this and earned both the win for his team and closed out the game, as he also threw two hitless innings while striking out two.