The Wildcats defeated an admirable opponent Tuesday night as they took down the Mayfield Wildcats by a score of 8-5. Mayfield ranked fourth in the state, came into the game with a record of 13-1. Saint Ignatius fell behind early to Mayfield but jumped out to a lead and didn’t look back.
Mayfield got on the board first after a sacrifice groundout by the Mayfield shortstop Piunno. Senior Jacob Rocky got out of the inning in only 11 pitches despite allowing one run.
Matt Giberti led it off for the Wildcats and Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor threw off the defense. Giberti laid a bunt down the third baseline and used his speed to reach first base. After a Giberti stolen base, shortstop Billy Adams singled into right and drove Giberti in to knot the score at one.
Rocky returned after a shaky first inning and was on fire on the mound as he would not give up another run until the fifth inning. Rocky wasn’t racking up the strikeouts on Mayfield; however, the senior hurler wasn’t running up his pitch count and kept it low against Mayfield. Rocky would go six complete innings with that low pitch count, allowing four runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Amid the scoreless stretch for Mayfield, the Blue and Gold offense got hot, scoring seven combined runs in the third and fourth innings. These runs were powered by two Billy Adams RBIs and also two Luke Roggenburk RBIs. A balk on the first pitch of a relief appearance by Mayfield scored John Panstares, and the Wildcats enjoyed an 8-1 lead.
“I saw good pitches early in the count,” Adams says. “They were hanging breaking balls and I was able to capitalize.”
Mayfield would go on a bit of a run to finish the game as they would score four unanswered runs to cut the Wildcats lead to three. However, the Mayfield run was not enough to match the Cats’ eight runs. Nick Zarbo would finish the game for the Cats and gave up only one run in the seventh inning and didn’t surrender a hit.
The Cats will be back at Brookside on Friday, April 30, to take on the Mentor Cardinals in a rematch of the 2019 Division I State Championship. “I think it’s going to be a grudge match,” says Adams. “We’re going to leave it all on the field, looking for the win.”