Ramon helps Molloy blast past Moore Catholic
Jonathan Ramon knew he hit the ball well, but he didn’t think he hit it that well.
But as he rounded second, Archbishop Molloy’s slugger watched John Baggs’ 1-2 inside curveball land over the wall in center field, a 390-foot, two-run blast in the first inning.
“It really set the tone for the whole game, kind of made me relaxed a bit knowing the first time I get on the mound I already have a 2-0 lead,” Molloy pitcher Rosario DiLorenzo said. “He’s an amazing player.”
Ramon added a single and a run-scoring double, pacing the Stanners to a 9-4 victory over Moore Catholic in a CHSAA Class AA championship tournament elimination game Thursday afternoon at Kaiser Stadium.
The seventh-seeded Stanners remain alive and will take on No. 1 Xaverian in another elimination game Friday at 2:30 p.m. at St. John’s.
“You can’t ever think that you’re done for,” Ramon said. “With this competitive team that we have, I feel like we could complete with the other teams still in this tournament, including tomorrow. As coach [Jack Curran] said, [Molloy] won from the winners bracket and the losers bracket so we’re not out of this.”
While Ramon provided the offensive spark, DiLorenzo had a gutty effort from the mound.
“Definition of an ace, always keeps his composure,” Ramon said. “He gets excited, don’t get me wrong, but he knows how to pitch, he knows what to do in certain situations. Every time he’s on the mound we have a 100 percent chance of winning.”
Pitching on two days rest – he threw 57 pitches in a five-inning mercy-rule shortened win over Holy Cross Monday – the senior right-hander went the distance, scattering seven hits, striking out 10 and walking just one.
“It’s really a do-or-die situation and the adrenaline took over I guess,” DiLorenzo said. “I really wanted to pitch today, not that I don’t trust anyone else, but you always want to pitch in big games. We live to fight another day.”
Added Curran: “He was excellent.”
While Ramon had the shot heard ‘round Kaiser Stadium, he was just part of an offensive explosion by the Stanners, who had 13 hits throughout their lineup. Curran credits the busy playoff schedule for his team heating up at the plate.
“We’re playing every day, they’re seeing more pitches and they’re getting a little more confident at the plate,” Curran said. “That’s the big difference.”
Chris Piteo was 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot, Mike Lipovac had three RBIs, Donovan Armas had two hits and two runs scored and Carlos Balmaceda had a pair of hits and an RBI for Molloy (14-8), which raced out to a 6-0 lead after 2-1/2 innings.
No. 3 Moore Catholic (13-5) threatened in the bottom of the third, capitalizing on a leadoff walk and back-to-back errors to score four runs and get within two runs. But the Stanners tacked on single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh to pull away.
“We’ve been hitting the ball pretty good, even yesterday,” Curran said, referring to a 7-5 opening round loss to St. Raymond. “Yesterday we just didn’t get some runs in.”
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
Ramon made sure of it.
Contact Dylan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter: @Dylan_Butler