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St. Al’s Marches On To The CYO Finals

It was a perfect summer evening for baseball recently as David (St. Aloysius) once again took on a Goliath (St. Patrick of Pt. Washington), this time with a trip to the CYO Eighth Grade Baseball League Championship game at stake.  The story of the night was “zero” which represented the number of hits and runs the St. Aloysius batters were able to get in the first 6 2/3 innings of the game.  

 

However, for the second time this season, the team from St. Al’s rallied when all hope seemed lost, sending 10 men to the plate in the top of the seventh and final inning, tying the game with five runs after two men were out, then scoring the winning run in the top of the 11th inning to hold off the mighty St. Patrick’s team, and earn the right to play for the CYO championship on June 17.

 

St. Al’s was able to achieve the stunning upset due to several key factors.  First was the pitching of starter Oliver Besman who threw eight innings of five-hit ball allowing only a single earned run while striking out eight and walking none. However, the St. Al’s defense proved to be porous in the early going, as St. Patrick put four additional unearned runs on the board to stake themselves to a 5-0 lead at the end of four innings.  Meanwhile, St. Patrick’s starting pitcher walked seven batters over the first four innings, but was able to get out of three bases-loaded jams unscathed.  After trading goose eggs for two innings, St. Al’s was facing its final at bat in the top of the seventh, still looking for their first hit of the game.

 

With one out, Brian Volk and Joshua Putter drew back-to-back walks but, with two outs, St. Al’s found themselves facing their last out of the season, still trailing by five runs and in jeopardy of being no-hit.  Jordan Greiff followed with a walk to load the bases, and Jacob Seidenberg walked to drive in Volk ending the shutout and putting St. Al’s on the board.  That brought Joey Dunn to the plate, who broke up the no-hit bid with a clean single to drive in Putter with the second run of the inning.  Following Dunn’s hit Ben Addeo struck again with a single of his own, driving in Greiff to cut the lead to 5-3. Jonny Farkas was next in the hit parade, smashing a grounder to the second baseman. Rather than step on second to end the game, the fielder inexplicably threw to first base, where the sure-handed first baseman dropped the ball, allowing Farkas to reach first safely. Meanwhile, with Seidenberg scoring as the ball was fielded, Dunn alertly kept running from second, scoring the game-tying fifth run of the inning while the first baseman retrieved the ball he had dropped.

 

The game continued on for four full extra innings. Jake Seidenberg pitched in relief of Besman and was masterful.  Finally, in the eleventh inning  Greiff singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout.  With two outs, it was once again up to Joey Dunn, and he delivered again, with a full-count single to drive in Greiff with the lead run. In the bottom of the eleventh inning Seidenberg induced a pop to third base, a line drive for out number two and then a sky high pop, which second baseman Putter squeezed for the final out of the game, sending St. Aloysius into the championship.