Law tops Cadets
The St. Joseph High baseball team took a step out of the FCIAC and ran into talented SCC contender Jonathan Law at the Dalling Sports Complex on May 12.
Senior right-hander Rich Dow scattered four hits across six innings to earn the 7-3 victory on the mound for coach Greg Simler’s Lawmen, who improved to 12-2 overall and won their fifth game in a row.
Jim Palmer had two hits, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Kurt Holden and Rob Griswold added two hits apiece for Law, with Holden’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the first inning giving it the lead for good. Timmy Maher and Dillon Rocha chipped in with RBI singles.
For St. Joseph (8-5), Nick Williams drove in all three runs, hitting a two-run single and a solo home run. The Cadets pulled back a pair of runs against Dow in the bottom of the third, but were never able to overcome their early 3-0 deficit.
“I thought early in the game Dave (Otero) was a little wild... They took full advantage,” St. Joseph coach Jim Chaves said. “Give credit to them, they got a couple of two-out hits and it seemed like we were chasing them the rest of the way.”
Holden, Griswold and Maher, the seventh, eighth and ninth batters in Law’s lineup, combined to go 5-for-11 with three RBIs and one walk.
“It’s funny, it’s been going in waves,” Simler said. “The last couple of games the bottom of the order has been coming up big for us. Our nine hitter Timmy Maher, I think he’s got about seven or eight RBIs in the last three games.”
Otero, a senior left-hander, struggled with his command in the top of the first inning.
After freezing Mac Taylor on a called third strike, Otero hit Jake Rouse, Palmer singled inside the third-base bag and Dow drew a walk. That loaded the bases for Rocha, who grounded an RBI infield single that Cadets’ second baseman Dave Capela knocked down.
Kevin Johnson then struck out and with Otero on the brink of avoiding further damage, Holden punched a two-run single to left-center field to make it 3-0.
“I liked the way our batters were disciplined in the beginning,” Simler said. “We laid off the high pitches and didn’t go after anything. We waited for him to come to us and we had some timely hits in the first inning.”
Dow quelled a Cadet uprising in the home half of the first. Mike Rotundo was hit by a pitch leading off and a one-out infield hit by Ismael Herrera gave the Cadets a promising start.
But, Dow retired Mark Hirschbeck and Williams on consecutive fielder’s choices to end the inning.
“Our pitchers are confident pitching to contact knowing that our middle can pick up the ground ball for us,” Simler said.
Otero kept the Lawmen at bay until the fifth inning, with St. Joseph scoring a pair of runs on Williams two-out, two-run single that plated Sean Hurley (2-for-3) and Rotundo.
It could have been more for the Cadets, but Dow again skirted danger. Hurley singled to start the rally and Rotundo walked. Matt McKernan’s fly to right field was then dropped to load the bases.
Herrera followed with a liner back through the middle that Dow snared, flipping to first to double off McKernan. Hirschbeck then walked to reload the bases, with Williams’ single getting the Cadets on the scoreboard.
Matt Laveneziana followed with a hard grounder to first base, that Johnson back handed and took to the bag for the third out.
“If we evened it up, it might have changed some of the momentum,” Chaves said. “They just kept the momentum.”
Dow was nicked just once more in the game, when Williams led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left field to provide the final scoreline of 7-3.
Left-hander Nick Catandella came on in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a lead-off single to Hurley before sandwiching a pair of flyouts to Holden from Rotundo and Herrera around a strikeout of McKernan.
“I was proud of the way he (Dow) got tough when he had to,” Simler said. “He was begging for the ball in the last inning but he was at his pitch limit... He’s a veteran guy who hits his spots and mixes his pitches well.”