SOMERS, N.Y. – Sometimes one bad bounce can change the complexion of a baseball game.
Beacon gained a two-run lead on Kennedy Catholic in the top of the second inning when a two-out single turned into three runs. With the bases loaded, Beacon’s Billy Sablinski hit a ball that curved away from Kennedy first baseman Joe Drpich and then the throw home sailed wide. No one covered the plate and Beacon scored three runs.
But there was plenty of baseball left to be played.
Kennedy regrouped and defeated visiting Beacon, 8-5, on Wednesday afternoon in a League I-C contest. The Gaels improved to 4-2.
Senior pitcher Oscar Giret shook off the three-run second and tossed 6 2/3 innings while scattering five hits and striking out four. He allowed three earned runs.
“I try not to let plays like that affect me too much,” Giret said. “There’s always the next inning. It was the second inning; there was plenty of game left.”
Kennedy’s ace cruised from the third through sixth innings, facing only one batter over the minimum.
“Early on my curveball was on and then I started to throw changeups,” Giret said. “I didn’t throw too many off-speed pitches. They’re a good hitting team, they hit the fastball well and they were really aggressive.”
The Gaels have an abundance of confidence with Giret on the hill.
“Nothing fazes Oscar ever,” Kennedy senior third baseman Erik Bauer said. “He’s our best pitcher, definitely. He just throws strikes. If you make the plays, he always wins.”
The bats picked up Giret in the third inning when Bauer laced a two-RBI double to tie the game at 3-3. Sophomore catcher Jason Agresti then followed with an RBI double to give Kennedy a 4-3 lead.
“We just tried to stay calm at the plate, have good approaches and try to get on base,” said Bauer, who finished 4 for 4 with three RBI.
“Everyone did their job. Today I was just trying to stay back. They were throwing a lot of curveballs, so I was just looking for a fastball.”
Bauer added an RBI single in the fourth inning. The Gaels tacked on three more runs in the fifth with a perfectly laid down suicide squeeze by Chris Gillen and two-RBI double by leadoff hitter Nick Maddalena.
Agresti finished 2 for 4 with two RBI and gave Kennedy a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a single. Shortstop Mike Ennis scored two runs and walked twice.
For Beacon, Sablinksi and Pat Schechter hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the seventh to chase Giret before Matt Kern closed the game out.
With the victory, the Gaels bounced back from a 13-4 loss to John Jay-East Fishkill this past Monday.
“It was a tough loss and I didn’t do so hot pitching,” Bauer said. “This was a league game (against Beacon), so we really needed the win.”
Kennedy and Beacon will face-off again tomorrow at Beacon at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re getting really hot right now,” Bauer said. “Expectations are obviously a sectional title – that’s our goal. We’re not going to stop until we get that.”