WILMINGTON – Alex Hinton scattered three hits in six shutout innings, and the Salesianum offense took advantage of the few opportunities it had in a 6-0 win over St. Georges in the second round of the DIAA state baseball tournament on May 25. No. 2 Sallies returns to the quarterfinal round for the third straight year.
The Hawks, the tournament’s 18th seed, didn’t get many baserunners against Hinton, but the leadoff hitter, Andrew Arterbridge, touched him for a double to start the first. He was sacrificed to third base, but Hinton retired the next two batters on strikeouts to get out of trouble. Arterbridge doubled again in the third, but St. Georges could not bring him home.
The Sals produced all the offense they would need in the second inning, and Hinton was in the center of the action. He led off the frame with a double, and Brendan Pacheco brought him home with another two-bagger. Ethan Valentine walked, and Matt Querey reached on a bloop single to load the bases with no outs. Pacheco scored on a double play, with Valentine moving to third. He would come home on a balk to put the Sals on top, 3-0.
The hosts doubled their lead in their half of the third. Jake Dunion opened with a single, but he was replaced by Joe Setting on an attempted sacrifice bunt. Walks to Hinton, Valentine and Querey sandwiched around a flyout resulted in the first run of the inning. Dominic Ragazzo knocked in the final two runs of the afternoon with a single, and the Sals were on their way.
Arterbridge singled in the fifth inning, giving him all three of the Hawks’ hits for the game. But the Sals were never threatened. Hinton finished with 10 strikeouts and no walks in a very efficient start. Joe Sheets came in to pitch the seventh, and he retired St. Georges in order on two groundballs and a popup to Ragazzo.
Arterbridge was a bright spot for the Hawks. In addition to getting all three of his team’s hits, he made two sliding catches in the outfield, both of which prevented Sallies from adding to its lead.
Salesianum improved to 17-2. They will meet No. 7 Wilmington Friends on Tuesday; the time and location had not been officially announced as of late Saturday night.
The Hawks’ season ended at 11-9.