WILMINGTON – St. Mark’s surrendered a four-run lead against Salesianum when the rivals met on the baseball diamond on April 20, but a triple off the bat of J.T. Tomovich scored two runs and lifted the Spartans to a 7-5 win in eight innings.
Salesianum trailed, 5-1, after four innings, but they fought back and tied the score in the bottom of the seventh. Spartans reliever Brian Gilardi got the first two outs, but Sals catcher Joe Setting doubled to left field. The next hitter, Anthony Frechette, sent a fly ball into short left field. With the leftfielder playing deep to guard against extra bases, the ball fell escaped the reach of the Spartans’ shortstop, and Setting scored.
Rick Gannett reached on a one-out single for St. Mark’s in the eighth. Sallies pitcher Joe Baker got the second out, bringing Gilardi to the plate, but he was intentionally walked. Tomovich scored both of them with a smash to deep center field. It was Tomovich’s only hit of the afternoon, although he reached base three times.
Gilardi retired the Sals in the bottom half, ending another tense battle between the longtime rivals. The teams split a pair of one-run games last season.
Salesianum took an early 1-0 lead thanks to their power-hitting third baseman, Josh Maguire. The lefthanded batter turned on a Matt Phillips fastball with two outs in the first and absolutely crushed a ball to right field. There’s not a ballpark in Delaware that would have held it, but Sallies does not have an outfield fence, so Maguire was forced to run. He circled the bases without a throw for the early 1-0 lead.
Sals starter Ryan Campbell held the Spartans to two singles through the first three innings, but St. Mark’s batted around in the fourth and scored four runs. Gilardi led off the frame with a triple to deep dead center. After a strikeout, Phillips sent a ball just over first base for a single, tying the game. Eric Ludman singled, and courtesy runner Lance Ralsten reached third. Shane Lougheed walked to load the bases.
Austin Warrington hit a ground ball up the middle, but Lougheed was safe on the play at second, and Ralsten scored. Seth Bialecki worked a full count before sending a two-run single to left. Campbell escaped further trouble by striking out the next two batters. The Spartans extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Ludman.
The Sals began their comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Sam DelCollo reached on a throwing error, and pinch runner Garrett Million advanced to third on a single. Million came home on a wild pitch.
Sallies added two more in the sixth to close within a run. Frechette singled with one out, and after Phillips got the second out on a strikeout, Brendan Pacheco was hit by a pitch and DelCollo walked to load the bases. Baker’s single to right scored two.
Gilardi earned the win in relief for St. Mark’s, who improved to 7-2. The Spartans are home on Sunday to battle Conrad at 1 p.m.
Baker took the loss for Sallies, who fell to 4-2. The Sals travel to Cape Henlopen on Saturday for a 1 p.m. start. It is the first of a three-game road trip that concludes what might be the toughest four-game stretch for any team in the state this season. The Sals are at Caravel on Tuesday night and Appoquinimink on Thursday.