Crusader offense trumped by Irish

DAVISVILLE -Not even extra batting practice for Parkersburg Catholic could offset a barrage from Charleston Catholic.

Monday afternoon at Marshall Field, the Irish rallied from a 6-2 deficit and defeated the Crusaders 10-8.

“We were swinging the bats well – we just have to make a play,” PCHS coach Tom Harvey said. “It’s probably been a good 10 days since we’ve gotten after it with the bats. Their pitcher was coming after us and we were swinging the bats.”

“Now we have to put it all in one package, and come out and play a complete game for once.”

The Irish set their comeback in motion in a fifth inning which saw 13 batters walk to the plate. Eight runs scored to leave the Crusaders trailing 10-6.

PCHS inched closer in the home half of the fifth inning when the Charleston Catholic right fielder dropped a fly ball with two outs. The Crusaders’ No. 9 hitter, Andrew Cinalli, who had reached on a singled scored from second base on the two-base error.

With Irish starter Connor Golden still on the mound for the seventh inning, a pair of PCHS batters were hit by a pitch despite facing a count with two strikes. Cinalli had reached safely on a fielder’s choice then scored from second base one again – this time on Jake Ullman’s base hit to center field.

Ullman finished the game 4-for-4 with two runs scores, two RBIs and one homer short of cycle.

“That’s the kind of hitter Jake is,” Harvey said. “He hit third and fourth for us all last year and he is hitting up around .500 for us this year. We had some injuries so we moved him to the leadoff.”

Later in the seventh inning with the Irish nursing a 10-8 advantage with two outs and bases loaded, Golden got the next batter to fly out harmlessly to center field for the final out.

PCHS starter Mike Hinton took the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of work. Golden’s complete-game victory featured six strikeouts and five walks to go with 10 Crusader hits.

Ullman kickstarted the Crusader offense with a triple on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning. He later scored when Payton Sturm grounded out to the first baseman unassisted.

PCHS tacked on two more runs in the second inning on consecutive RBI doubles from Cinalli and Ullman.

Jordan Corvelli’s two-run single in the third inning sliced the deficit to Crusader 3-2. The Crusaders then responded with three runs in the fourth inning thanks to an RBI single from Nick Roedersheimer, a sacrifice fly by Jake Boice and Cary Casto’s RBI single.

The Crusaders tried three different pitchers to close the door as the Irish erupted for eight runs in the fifth inning. Golden highlighted the outburst with a two-run homer.

Cinalli’s 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief gave PCHS hope. However, not even the most stingy pitching could overcome four Crusader errors.

“They knocked us out of the tournament last year,” Harvey said. “I don’t think we’ve beat them since I’ve been here. They are a good team and they pounced on all of our errors.”