Chaminade Rallies To Defeat Gibbons And Get Back In District 4A-13 Race
Chaminade-Madonna has had its share of tough losses in District 4A-13 this season. The Lions have lost three of their four district games by a combined four runs. On Saturday, Chaminade finally turned the tables and picked up a win in dramatic fashion, 5-3 over Cardinal Gibbons. It is a win that puts Chaminade back in contention for the top seed in the district.
“This was a big game for us,” Lions head coach Mike Moss said. “We felt that after Gibbons beat University twice, it put us back in the picture. We had a rough start in the district, but now we control our own destiny with the teams we still have to play, so this was huge for us. We got the first one, and we’ll see what happens Tuesday.”
What happened Saturday afternoon was a pitchers’ duel turned wild. Gibbons ace Thomas Woodrey locked horns with Lions ace Chris Flores, and the game went for most of the day like many in attendance had expected. Woodrey and Flores took turns dazzling on the mound, with only one run coming across the plate in the first five and a half innings.
Chaminade had several chances to break the game open early on. The Lions offense had four hits in the first inning, scoring their lone run on a Julian Pino single. They may have scored more had it not been for two runners being thrown out on the bases.
In the third, the Lions again threatened with three straight one-out singles. Woodrey worked out of the jam, however, getting an infield fly for the second out and a strikeout to end the inning.
The score stayed 1-0 into the bottom of the sixth, when Gibbons turned to fundamental baseball to capture the lead. Anthony Cerquozzi led off the inning with an infield single, which was followed by a Woodrey base hit. With runners on first and second, Chiefs head coach Frank Pisani chose to pinch-hit for three-hole hitter Michael Hanke, with his brother, Drew.
After a wild pitch, Pisani then re-entered Michael, who proceeded to walk and load the bases. After a fielder’s choice, pinch hitter David Pedraza tied the game with an executed squeeze. Chris Williams followed with a two-run single, giving Gibbons a 3-1 lead heading to the final frame.
The Lions showed their mental toughness in the top of the seventh. With one out, and after a hit-by-pitch, Daniel Vitello, Mitch Moorman and Luis Guillorme hit consecutive singles. Pino delivered the knockout blow two batters later when he hit a two-run single. The 5-3 lead would hold up in the bottom of the inning, with winning pitcher Brandon Burgess closing the door.
“It feels great,” said Moorman, who finished the game 4-for-4. “I just tried to do my job today. We just need to keep working and stay positive, and we’ll be alright.”
The Chiefs were sitting at the top of the district coming in, and even with the loss, are in a position to clinch the top seed and a bye if they can take care of business the rest of the way. Pisani was pleased with the way his team battled Saturday.
“We battled back hard in the bottom of the sixth, and they battled back even harder in the top of the seventh,” Pisani said. “Sometimes you’ve got to just tip your hat to the other team and give credit where credit is due.”