Baseball: St. Edward rallies past Westminster Christian
By Erik Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org May 10, 2012 11:14PM
Updated: May 14, 2012 10:07PM
St. Edward and Westminster Christian renewed their crosstown rivalry Thursday night at Trout Park and set the stage for what could be an intriguing encore next week.
The Green Wave pushed across two runs in the top of the seventh on key hits from Luke Duffy and Jack Tierney to rally for a 4-3 victory in a back-and-forth nonconference affair. The triumph was St. Edward’s first against the Warriors in four meetings, but Westminster Christian might not have to wait long for a rematch.
The Warriors are the No. 2 seed and the Green Wave is the No. 3 seed in next week’s Richmond-Burton Class 2A Regional. The rivals could meet in the semifinals May 17 if St. Edward is able to knock off No. 6 North Boone in a play-in game Monday.
“This is definitely a good motivator going into the regional,” St. Edward coach Tim Dovichi said. “Our guys keep working hard and they have a dogfight attitude. They kept chipping away and we finally got that one key hit.”
Duffy went the distance on the mound for St. Edward (17-16) but was in line for the loss after allowing two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Westminster Christian (16-11) surged ahead 3-2.
The senior had a chance to redeem himself in the top of the seventh when he came to the plate with runners at first and third and one out. After going hitless in his first three at-bats, Duffy came through with an RBI double down the left-field line to bring home Jake Lefrenz with the tying run.
“I was just thinking get it on the ground to the right side or deep in the air, but I got an inside pitch and pulled it,” Duffy said. “It felt good after those guys got on base there. It shows you can’t give up because you can always rally in the seventh inning.”
The rally continued when Tighe Koehring was intentionally walked to load the bases. Freshman Jack Tierney then stepped in the batter’s box and delivered an RBI single as Jake Koehring came home with the go-ahead run.
“In the last five games we lost three by one run and pulled this one out by one run,” Dovichi said. “We’ve been right there, and tonight we got the big hit. That’s what we’ve been missing.”
Duffy, who returned to school Thursday after being out sick earlier in the week, went back to the mound for the bottom of the seventh and retired the heart of Westminster Christian’s lineup in order to cap a gutsy performance.
On the night, Duffy (3-5) allowed three earned runs on six hits and five walks. He struck out six, including the final two batters of the game.
“I felt a little more warmed up as the game went on,” Duffy said. “In that last inning the adrenaline was definitely rushing.”
Tighe Koehring (2-for-3, two RBI) and Michael Castoro (2-for-4) led the way at the plate for St. Edward, which got strong defensive play from shortstop Antonio Domel.
Clay DeHann (5-5) took the loss for the Warriors after allowing two earned runs on three hits in two innings of work. Tyler Greene went 2-for-4 and Ryan Perez, Chase Woods and Matt Swing all contributed an RBI for Westminster Christian.