NEWPORT — The Saint Mark’s baseball team started April 23 with Mass at St. John the Beloved Church, and it’s entirely possible that senior Garrett Quinn said a quick prayer eight hours later.
Quinn came in to pitch the seventh inning for the Spartans in their game against Conrad, with Saint Mark’s holding a 4-1 lead. After getting the first two outs on ground balls, Quinn faced Kaden Netta for the potential final out. He got it, but only after Netta ripped a screaming line drive right back at Quinn, who managed to get his glove down around his hip before the ball could do any damage.
Crisis averted, the Spartans were free to celebrate their three-run victory in a rare Sunday matinee. Quinn earned the save in relief of starter John Klepacki, who scattered three hits in six innings and allowed only the single run.
The Spartans took a 1-0 lead in the second thanks to three walks and a run-scoring single by Todd Gilardi, which brought Zach Frame home. The Red Wolves answered in their half of the inning.
Nate Schurga walked to lead off the inning, and a hit by pitch and bunt single loaded the bases with no out. Schurga scored on a double play.
Errors led to two unearned Spartans runs in the third. Quinn reached on an error to lead off the frame, and after a strikeout, a two-base error allowed Quinn to get to third and Frame to second. Quinn scored on a wild pitch, and Frame came home on the Red Wolves’ third error of the third.
The final run scored in the top of the fourth. With one out, Dan McSorley walked and advanced on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a groundout and scored when Quinn beat out an infield single.
After the Red Wolves scored, Frame did not allow another hit until the sixth. He had retired eight straight before Brett Walmsley singled to center with one out in the sixth.
Frame was on base four times and scored a run. He had one of the Spartans’ three hits. Quinn was reached three times, scored and drove in a run. Klepacki finished with five strikeouts. Saint Mark’s (11-0) is off until Thursday, when they meet Delaware Military Academy at Newark National Little League at 4 p.m.
Riley DeLuca struck out four in 3.2 innings for the Red Wolves. Conrad (8-3) begins a three-game road trip Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. at Leroy Hill Park against Newark Charter.
All photos by Mike Lang.