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Wildcats Extend Winning Streak to Six

By Eli Maistros '24, 04/20/22, 12:30PM EDT


The Baseball Cats captured their sixth straight victory with a walk-off win against Archbishop Hoban.

CLEVELAND, Oh -The Saint Ignatius Wildcats have done it again as they complete their third comeback win of the young campaign. Down 5-1 at one point versus the Archbishop Hoban Knights and 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats climbed back to take an impressive walk-off win on a cold Saturday afternoon.

Righty junior Liam Baker was Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor's choice to take the mound versus the talented Knights. In his first inning of work, Baker retired the side 1-2-3 and brought the Wildcats up to the dish. Billy Adams laced a single to center field, followed by a hit by pitches for both Anthony Paskell and Andrew Apanasewicz. Paskell would take home on a passed ball with Max Palinski at the plate, giving the Wildcats an early lead. Micah Murtha popped out to end the inning.

The Knights got on the board in the second. Two one-out knocks put runners at the corners before a sharp grounder was misplayed by third baseman Carson Herman allowing one to score. After a Baker pitch, Apanasewicz sailed the throwback to the mound and allowed another Knight to score, giving them the lead. Hoban would ground out to end the inning, but not before putting two on the board. Hoban pitcher Caleb Kepler handled the Wildcats well in the bottom of the frame, only allowing a walk to Connor Gromen and allowing no runs.

Baker started the third inning with a walk before Shawn Parnell chopped a ball back to the mound. Baker fielded, but Murtha could not corral the ball at first, allowing the leadoff runner to score. 3-1 Knights. The Cats would catch a break as Parnell failed to tag up on a pop-up to left fielder Palinski, and Murtha snared a liner at first to get out of the inning. A Paskell pop-out started the bottom of three; then Sawyer Solitaria punched a single up the middle. Apanasewicz flew out before Palinski walked. With two on and two out, Murtha was not able to capitalize as he grounded out to second to end the third.

Baker would retake the bump, and after giving up a leadoff single, he retired the next three Hoban hitters. The Wildcats were also quickly retired in the fourth, as flyouts to all three outfielders ended the quick inning.

Inning five began with a single that fell right in front of right fielder Gromen. That would be the last Knight Baker would face as fellow junior Pauly Mancino would take the hill. In four innings, Baker would allow four runs; only one earned on five hits, a walk and a strikeout. Mancino would hit the first batter he faced before giving up a two-RBI double to Parnell.

Mancino would walk the net batter before retiring three straight to end the top half. Adams started the vital bottom of the fifth with a flyout to center before Paskell stroked a single to the outfield. Then, Solitaria stepped up and hit his third home run in as many games on the first pitch of the at-bat. The two-run blast cut the Hoban lead to only two. Two flyouts ended the fifth, but not before both teams scored two.

SIBN Players of the Game vs. Hoban: Anthony Paskell and Billy Adams

The sixth inning was another quick one for both teams. Mancino allowed a leadoff double before getting one out via the groundout. The third junior to pitch in the game, Sam Meyer, would enter. He quickly got the remaining two outs to retire the Knights. Noah LaFine, the talented right-handed Sophomore, would enter for the Knights to start the sixth. Pinch hitter Jimmy Gould grounded out to start the inning before Jake Pfaff walked. LaFine retired the next two Wildcat hitters to send us to the final inning.

Hoban would add insurance in the seventh with a lead-off Parnell double and a one-out single, giving the Knights a three-run advantage. The Cats were able to limit the damage on a wild double play as a Knight flew out to right fielder Jake Fix, whose throw to third base was cut off by the pitcher Meyer who ran to second base to tag out the Hoban runner trying to advance.

The Cats were down to their final three outs with the meat of the order up. Adams would start the inning with a double to right-center. Paskell would follow that up with a double, scoring Adams and cutting the deficit to two. Solitaria would be walked and Apanasewicz hit by a pitch loading the bases up. Palinski would shoot a single to center, allowing Paskell to score and the bases remain loaded.

Murtha skied one to right field, allowing pinch-runner Nick Frontino to score and tie the game. After a Herman strikeout, Fix would step up. On the third pitch of the at-bat, LaFine's fastball got away from him, allowing Josh Putka to score and win the game. The Cats had scored four in the seventh to steal a win from the Knights. Adams, Paskell and Solitaria all had multi-hit days, while Paskell scored three of the Wildcat runs.

Saturday afternoon was fun, but now the Cats turn their attention to a Wednesday matchup at Brookside against a consensus top-five team in the country, Orchard Lake St. Mary's from Michigan.