A lot of good things come in pairs.
Gloves, glasses, socks, shoes etc.
For St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, so do Georgetown Cups.
Four times in the Lasallian school’s history the Marauders have won Monsignor Martin’s baseball postseason championship twice in a row.
If history chooses to repeat itself, St. Joe’s will have to make another addition to its already impressive banner.
“It’s very important,” senior captain Alex Zulia said of winning a championship. “A lot of seniors would like to get another championship under their belt. It’s important to show what St. Joe’s baseball is all about.”
The defending champs and No. 1 Marauders are one step closer to that goal following a convincing 10-0 win over the No. 8 Niagara Catholic Patriots in the Georgetown Cup quarterfinals.
After getting off to a rocky start, St. Joe’s put together a nine-run third inning and eventually winning this one in five innings.
“Whether its nerves or something else, it’s a playoff game,” Marauders coach Paul Nasca said. “We had to grind out some at-bats. Once we got guys on base we started to loosen up. I’m pleased with the outing.”
St. Joe’s moves on to next week’s semifinals. The Marauders will host Game 1 of a best-of-three series against St. Mary’s of Lancaster (defeated Timon 5-1)
After the win, Nasca warned his players that the spotlight only gets bigger as you move deeper in the playoffs.
“We have to ramp up the energy,” Nasca said. “The mistakes and the big hits get more magnified. You have to be ready to go.”
Patriots’ lead-off hitter Tevin Sanders knocked the game’s first pitch to left field for a double. That was followed up by a bunt from Michael Sanders, that due to the pitchers’ error on the throw, put both men on base for Niagara Catholic.
But the Marauders left the inning unscathed as Elliott Widenor threw back-to-back strikeouts and the defense caught Michael Sanders trying to steal second base.
NC pitcher Cameron Reed got off to a good start. The junior put out the first two batters before Will Cardon hit a triple. But, Reed stood tall and forced a ground out to keep the game scoreless.
St. Joe’s had runners in scoring position with no outs in the second inning but only came away with a single run.
Cade Dick hit a single and then got to third with two stolen bases. Justin Jenneve got on base on an error and move to second on a passed ball.
Ryan Sutherland hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Dick for the Marauders first run.
After the next batter grounded out, Jenneve tried to steal home but he was tagged for the final out of the inning.
The floodgates finally pushed open in the third for St. Joe’s.
Sam Murphy started the inning with a walk and later came home on a balk.
Five-straight hits, highlighted by a two RBI double from Jenneve, scored six runs for the Marauders.
Murphy stole home on his second time up during the third.
Niagara Catholic’s inaugural season with a baseball team at the varsity level came to a close Friday. It was a difficult year, but the Patriots look forward to the future.
“We’re a pretty young team,” Niagara Catholic coach Josh Puzan said. “We’ve been struggling to overcome that one-inning where the wheels fall off and it gets rickety. But it gives us a place to put our finger on so we know what we have to work on for next year.”
Feature Photo Courtesy of Andrew Miller/SJCI
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