WILMINGTON – Salesianum put together a three-run rally with two outs in the fifth inning to overcome a 2-0 deficit, and the Sals opened May with a 4-2 win over St. Mark’s in prime time at Frawley Stadium. The Sals are now 5-1 during this stretch of seven games in nine days.
The first four innings were an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel between Sallies hurler Reece Bolton and the Spartans’ Matt Phillips. St. Mark’s managed just one hit off Bolton through four, a one-out single in the second from Ricky Gannett.
Gannett’s knock led to the Spartans’ best opportunity to score over the first four frames. Walks to Ben Anderson and Nick Pisorchik loaded the bases for Matt Sinko, who sent a screaming line drive that looked ticketed for the right-field corner. Salesianum first baseman Alex Hinton, however, dove to his left to make the stab, and he stepped on first for an inning-ending double play.
Phillips worked out of his own jam in the first for the Spartans. He walked leadoff hitter Dom Ragazzo, and after registering a strikeout, allowed a single to Jacob Dunion. A balk moved the runners to second and third, but Phillips rebounded with another strikeout, then coaxed a fly ball to right from Hinton.
The Spartans ended the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth in grand fashion. Pisorchik walked to open the frame, and Sinko followed with a bomb to the left-field bullpen to give St. Mark’s the 2-0 lead. Two more runners reached in the inning, but Bolton got out of trouble with a strikeout.
The first two Sallies batters of the fifth were retired, but the inning was far from over. Dunion, who was on base four times, drove a ball deep into left-center for a triple. Joe Setting walked, and Hinton was safe on a tough ground ball to second that was ruled an error, with Dunion coming home on the play. Brendan Pacheco was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and consecutive walks to Ethan Valentine and Matt Querey – both on full counts – drove in the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Sals added an insurance run in the sixth thanks in part to Ragazzo’s alert baserunning. He reached on a one-out walk, and the next batter, Dylan Rees, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. As he approached second base, Ragazzo noticed there was no Spartan covering third, and he raced Anderson, the catcher, to the bag. The throw from first was over Anderson’s head, allowing Ragazzo to come home.
The game was not over, as St. Mark’s would threaten in the seventh against Hinton, who threw a complete game against them last week. Sinko singled and Christian Colmery walked to open the inning. With J.J. Psenicska at bat, Sals catcher Joe Setting caught Sinko too far off second base for the first out. After a strikeout, Phillips singled to put runners at first and third, but Hinton stopped a sharp grounder off the bat of Eric Ludman, ending the game.
Bolton picked up the win, allowing just three hits while striking out six, walking seven and hitting one batter. Offensively, Dunion was on all four times he was up, getting two hits and a pair of walks. Querey was on all three times he batted, with two hits and a walk. The Sals improved to 10-2 and travel to St. Georges on Thursday for a 4:15 p.m. start.
For the Spartans, Phillips gave up five hits, struck out six and walked five. He also hit one man. Sinko had two hits, while Phillips reached in three of his four plate appearances. St. Mark’s fell to 10-4 and hosts Sussex Tech at 4 p.m. on Friday.