Thursday, 04 July 2013 00:00
On a muggy night, with the threat of a storm arriving at any moment, the only lightning came from the St. Aloysius bats, as St. Al crushed St. Peter 10-3, to take the 2013 8th Grade CYO Baseball Championship. In what was their most complete team victory of the season, the St. Aloysius team had a season-high 8 hits, and their defense was stellar in support of a complete-game, 94-pitch one-hitter thrown by their ace Jacob Seidenberg.
St. Al jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first, as Jordan Greiff led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on a Seidenberg single. Joey Dunn smacked a 1-1 pitch to centerfield, knocking in Seidenberg with the second run. Next, “Big Ben” Addeo struck, knocking out the St. Peter starting pitcher with a massive sac fly to deep center, which allowed Dunn to advance to third base. Dunn then walked home when the throw from the outfielder went out of play. St. Peter’s removed their starting pitcher at that point.
In the top of the second, St. Al padded its lead when Nick Bornstein walked, was sacrificed to second, stole third, and came home on another single by Seidenberg. With the score 4-0, St. Peter fought back in their half of the second inning, as they put a runner on with an infield single off the pitcher’s glove and that runner came in to score on an infield error. A second run scored making it a 4-2 game.
The two teams traded scoreless 1-2-3 frames in the third inning, and it looked like it was settling into a tight pitcher’s duel. That is, until the St. Al offense came alive again in the top of the fourth. Jared Schwartz led off with a walk, stole second, and with one out, pinch hitter Joey Jacobs slapped a single to move Schwartz to third. Bornstein then walked again on 4 pitches to load the bases. As Coach Priven prepared Schwartz at third for a suicide squeeze, he forgot to give the sign to the hitter, so rather than bunt, Josh Putter swung away, lashing a shot to left field on the first pitch which drove in Schwartz and Jacobs, sent Bornstein to third, and knocked out the second St. Peter pitcher. With Putter dancing off the bag at first, he drew a throw from the pitcher, allowing Bornstein to steal home for the third run of the inning. Putter advanced to third on a groundout, then scored on Seidenberg’s third consecutive single. After a walk to Dunn, a dropped fly in rightfield allowed Seidenberg to score, and when another walk loaded the bases, St. Peter went to their fourth pitcher, who promptly walked Schwartz to drive in another run. By the time the inning was over, St. Al had sent a season-high 12 batters to the plate, scoring 6 runs to take a 10-2 lead.
St. Peter scored a run in the bottom of the fourth, capitalizing on a walk and a ground out. However, that ground out in the fourth marked the first of 11 consecutive batters retired by Seidenberg, as he cruised thru the last 3 2/3 innings with 2 Ks, 2 infield flys, and 7 infield groundouts - including a webgem by third baseman Jonny Farkas, who made a backhanded pick of a one-hopper along the third base line, then gunned out the speedy St. Peter runner to start the sixth inning.
So, in the end, the underdog team from St. Aloysius, guided by veteran coaches Jay Priven and Sal Bonavolonta, overcame an 0-3 start to the season to knock off top teams Cure of Ars and St. Dominic in the regular season, and then St. Patrick and St. Peter in the playoffs, to stand alone atop the CYO 8th Grade Baseball League for the first such championship victory in 25 years.