Not his coach, not the Bishop-Timon offense or not even the rain was going to stop Gavin Collura.
The St. Joe’s senior was unstoppable on the mound going all the way in the Marauders’ 4-0 win over the Bishop-Timon Tigers in the Georgetown Cup quarterfinals.
“I felt today was my day,” Collura said. “I walked in and I felt confident with my team and myself, even with this bad weather.”
Collura gave up one hit and finished with 10 strikeouts in the win.
Even when the game was zero to zero, the outs just came easier to the Marauders.
“We had a senior leader on the mound and that gives you some comfort,” St. Joes head coach Paul Nasca said. “We were fortunate to get some guys on base and got a timely hit here and there.”
The game got off to a rocky start for the Marauders as shortstop Luke Pierce overthrew his first baseman on a ground ball from the first batter of the game. But he made up for it as he got the next grounder that came to him to help executed the double play to end the inning.
It looked like the Tigers would get some momentum and a chance to score in the second. Jeremy Glinski was walked and then Will Eberhardt hit one deep into right field. Glinski got to third, but Eberhardt could not get to second in time and was caught for the final out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Marauders broke open the scoring. C.J. Falk led off the inning with a walk and then stole second and third base. Luke Pierce grounded out on the next at bat, but Falk was able to get home to give St. Joe’s the lead.
Later in the inning, the Marauders’ senior Andrew Short came to the plate with a man on base and blasted one into right field. It should have been a home run but Timon right fielder Tyler Brill extended his arm over the fence and caught it behind the wall for the out.
Falk and Pierce got back together in the fourth inning and added on to the St. Joe’s lead. Falk successfully executed the bunt getting on base. On the next at bat, he stole second base. Then Pierce successfully converted a bunt, a fielding error allowed Pierce to get to second and Falk to get home for the Marauder second run of the game.
Falk ended the game with two runs and four stolen bases.
The Marauders had a team effort that was on display Friday, from the field to the plate to even the bench where one could hear teammates cheering each other on throughout game. That’s was what Nasca has been looking for all year.
“We preach contribution from top to bottom,” Nasca said. “It was a tough day to play with the wind blowing and the rain drizzling. They grinded it out. I am proud of our kids.”
St. Joe’s sophomore Will Carlone led off the sixth inning with a double. Mark Gilbert drove him in on a double. Gilbert stole third base and later got home for St. Joe’s final run of the game off another Tiger error.
After getting his tenth strikeout in the top of the seventh inning, Collura gave up a walk and after a Marauder error had two men on base.
His coach came out to let him know he was getting close to the maximum pitch count (105), but the Collura wanted to finish the game.
“I went to the mound telling him he only had a few (pitches) left, I asked him ‘do you want me to make the move now?” Nasca said. “He says ‘no coach I got it.’”
The next batter Glinski connected, but Short made the catch and caught the runner at second for the double play to end the game.
“I didn’t have many pitches left, but I wanted this game,” Collura said. “He was my last batter. I got lucky there with that double play, it was poetry.”
For Timon, it was tough goodbye after a strong season from a talented senior class.
“Our program has been down for the last few years. For what this team accomplished this year I couldn’t be any prouder of this group of kids,” Timon head coach Jeff Ralabate said. “They gave 110% every workout, every practice and every game we played. I told the seniors that they put this program back on the map.”
St. Joe’s continues on to the Georgetown Cup semifinals for a three-game series against No. 1 seed Canisius. Game One is on Tuesday, first pitch at 4:45pm at Delaware Park.