The Saint Ignatius Wildcats’ baseball team suffered a tough opening loss to the Jesuit Cup Tournament, falling to our Jesuit brothers St. Xavier 4-1.
Andrew Mulhern, the Wildcats’ ace, took the mound on a cold, windless Saturday afternoon. The young Bombers’ offense was able to reach base through a few well-placed hits, and led 4-0 after the top of the first.
AJ Gaich led off the bottom half of the first inning with a leadoff single, and after two stolen bases, he was eventually able to cross home plate via a sacrifice fly from Michael Holdsworth.
After a rough first inning, Mulhern settled into his usual self, as he struck out two batters, and retired the Bombers on just 13 pitches in the top half of the second inning. Mulhern had four strikeouts through two innings.
Bobby Jones, the Bombers’ pitcher, retired the Wildcats in the bottom half of the inning, including two strikeouts, to keep his team ahead 4-1.
Despite allowing a hit, Mulhern cruised through the third inning, which was highlighted by a pick off at first base for the second out.
Jack Whelan hit a hard comeback at the mound to start the bottom of the third, but the pitcher made an athletic play on what was surely a clean single up the middle. Erik Daugenti walked, but Jones escaped the jam.
Mulhern struck out one more batter, and forced the Bombers’ 2 & 3 hitters to ground out, to retire 8 of the last 10 batters he faced.
Austin Jones roped a double down the third base line, but Bobby Jones was able to get out of the bottom of the fourth with the score still 4-1.
Senior Sam LaGuardia entered in relief for the top of the fifth inning, and made quick work of the Cincinnati opponents, striking out the first two batters he faced, before Michael McNamara made an athletic throw to first to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Jones retired three Wildcat hitters on two pop-ups and a groundout.
The Wildcats hit many hard balls throughout the contest, including a few ripped by Michael Holdsworth and Michael McNamara, that if any wind flew through Berea, a few home run balls or extra base hits may have gotten down for the Wildcats.
LaGuardia forced the first Bomber to pop out to McNamara to start the sixth, but a bunt single put one runner on base. A perfect 6-4-3 double play ensued, and LaGuardia finished with two strong innings on the mound.
Erik Daugenti worked an 8-pitch at bat in the bottom of the sixth, but the Wildcats were not able to find the scoreboard.
Matt Ferritto pitched the top half of the final inning for the Wildcats, striking out two batters and allowing one hit.
Austin Jones reached base on an infield single, exhibiting first class hustle, but as Jones’ night ended with 6.1 innings, the Bombers closer was able to strike out two batters to win the game 4-1.
The Wildcats will be back in game #2 of the Jesuit Cup this Monday versus Walsh Jesuit. The game will be played at 5 pm, and the game will take place at Fisher Field.
JV & Freshmen Earn Wins
The JV Cats earned a 10-2 win at Eastlake North on Saturday, advancing to 13-4 on the season.
Meanwhile, the Freshmen Cats rolled past Holy Name on Saturday in an 11-5 win, advancing to 13-3 on the year.