Mother Nature didn't cooperate for Friday's game at Progressive Field, but she granted some sunshine to the Wildcats and Rangers on Saturday. Coats and hats were still needed, though, as the air was certainly chilly.
The cool spring air didn't stop the Wildcats' offense, as the Saint Ignatius varsity baseball team exploded for 14 runs at Lakewood High School in a 14-0 run-rule victory over the Rangers on Saturday morning.
With the victory, the Wildcats advance to 12-3-1 on the year, remaining undefeated against Northeast Ohio teams.
The Wildcats started the scoring party in the second inning. Luke Lashutka, Nick Fletcher, Erik Daugenti, AJ Gaich, and Michael Holdsworth all tallied RBIs in a second inning frenzy. Daugenti's triple and Holdsworth's double stood as the highlights early on in a 6-run inning.
On the mound, Luke Lashutka cruised for two innings, allowing three hits. Sam LaGuardia entered in the bottom of the third and proceeded to mow down the Rangers.
The Wildcats reached another level on offense in the top of the fourth.
The fun began with an absolute laser shot by Michael McNamara. The junior absolutely crushed the ball, and the wind helped carry it over the left field fence on a monster shot.
"It was a 2-0 count, so I was looking for a good pitch over the middle of the plate, so I was aggressive," McNamara said.
Holdsworth walked before Matt Geraci and Flynn Lenahan reached on errors, loading the bases for LaGuardia. On the first pitch of the at-bat, LaGuardia launched a ball to left center, and it found turf. Holdsworth, Geraci, and Lenahan all touched the plate and LaGuardia slid into third with a bases-clearing triple. LaGuardia's huge hit lifted the Wildcats' faithful to their feet, and extended the lead to 10-0.
Fletcher followed the feat with a double, scoring Gabe Nard (pinch-running for LaGuardia) on the hit. Following a popup, Gaich walked to set two at the plate for McNamara. The Kent State commit then achieved a difficult accomplishment – an opposite-field home run. McNamara skied a hit to right center that carried and carried and carried before dropping over the fence to Bunts Road. McNamara's 3-run shot rounded out the scoring at 14-0.
"I tried to do the same thing in the second at-bat. With guys in scoring position, I tried to work right center and it went over the fence," McNamara said.
LaGuardia struck out the side in the fourth, and Sean Wracher coaxed three outs in the fifth to keep Lakewood off the scoreboard.
Looking ahead, the Wildcats have a busy week. The Baseball Cats have six scheduled games in the next seven days, starting with St. Vincent-St. Mary on Monday.
"Going into next week, we're confident. We're just trying to stay confident going into the tough part of the season," said McNamara, who has 3 HR and 13 RBI. "I like how we brought the energy today, we were kind of lacking that the past couple of games. We did a good job of that, as long as we keep that up, I think we'll be good."
JV and Freshmen complete the sweep
The JV Cats and Freshmen Cats also produced dominant efforts on Saturday.
The JV Cats catapulted to a 23-0 win, with 10 players recording a hit and 11 tabbing an RBI. Gabe Nard led the way with a 3-for-3 day at the plate, hitting a pair of doubles, scoring twice, and notching an RBI. Luke Roggenburk struck out five hitters in a 3-hit complete game shutout. The JV squad is now 11-4 on the year.
The Freshmen Cats rolled to a 19-0 win at Lakewood to advance to 12-3 on the year. Eight different players notched an RBI, with Vincent Fabe taking charge with a 2-for-2 day, tabbing 3 RBI and scoring once. Joey Adler and Jack Bender combined for a 1-hit shutout, striking out 10 Rangers.