Two of the top teams in Ohio confronted the Saint Ignatius varsity baseball team during a roadtrip to Cincinnati over the weekend.
All in all, the Wildcats returned home from the land of Derek Dietrich '07 with plenty of positives.
The Wildcats bested Archbishop Moeller on Friday night, 6-4, and fell to LaSalle on Saturday afternoon, 9-6.
PBR Ohio ranked Moeller as the No. 6 team in the state and LaSalle as the No. 49 squad in Ohio, though LaSalle did manage to defeat the Crusaders last Wednesday after losing the last two meetings.
The Wildcats now stand at 14-8-1 on the year, poised to start the OHSAA Tournament on Thursday with the Sectional Final.
The journey to Cincinnati started out well for the Wildcats, with the visitors scoring in the second inning against Moeller. Austin Jones and Matt Geraci started the party with a walk and a single. A passed ball advanced the duo to second and third, with Jake Lang plating one an a selfless groundout. In the next at-bat, Erik Daugenti scored Geraci on a double to left. The junior scored shortly after on a clutch 2-out single by Jack Whelan.
With Andrew Mulhern cruising on the mound, the Wildcats added to the lead in the fourth. Lang and Daugenti led things off with back-to-back singles. After a Moeller strikeout, Whelan singled to load the bases. On the second pitch of his at-bat, Michael Holdsworth was hit by a pitch to score a run. A wild pitch then scored Daugenti before Michael McNamara finished off the rally with a sac fly.
Trouble struck for the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth. After cruising all day, Mulhern allowed a leadoff walk. Head Coach Brad Ganor called to the bullpen, but the Cats could not escape the jam until after the Crusaders had plated four runs. Still, the Wildcats held onto a 6-4 lead.
Thankfully, the Wildcats shut the door in the seventh. Matt Ferritto held off the crusade with two strikeouts and a groundout, giving the Wildcats a nice win.
LaSalle started off the game better than the Crusaders, scoring on Saint Ignatius in the first. However, Luke Lashutka limited the damage to two runs. The Saint Ignatius offense came to his defense, plating three in the second frame.
After reaching base on a 1-out walk, Nick Fletcher scored later in the inning on a passed ball. McNamara then delivered in the clutch, plating AJ Gaich and Daugenti on a 2-out single to left, granting Saint Ignatius a 3-2 lead.
Following a quiet bottom of the second, LaSalle took control by scoring two runs in both the third and fourth frames. Gaich drew a bases-loaded hit by pitch to score a run in the fifth, but LaSalle responded with two more runs, extending the lead to 8-4.
A Connor Mays single and a Fletcher groundout plated two runs in the sixth, narrowing the gap. But LaSalle again provided an answer, scoring an insurance marker to enter the seventh with a 9-6 lead. Whelan singled to threaten the lead, but the Wildcats could not rally, dropping the contest to LaSalle.
Following the Cincy split, the Wildcats return to action on Monday, hosting Midview for a 5 pm contest at Baldwin Wallace.
Freshmen & JV Cats win big
The Wildcats' two younger squads provided nice highlights this weekend.
The Freshmen Cats swept past Riverside at home with 12-2 and 10-0 wins. The squad now stands at 17-3 on the year entering the final week of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the JV Cats surged past Gilmour Academy in a 17-0 rout. A total of 13 Wildcats tabbed a hit in a complete team win, with Jacob Rocky and Timmy Bulan limiting the Lancers to three hits.