By Ken McKenzie
Coach Wayne Sankey’s Pacelli Cardinals battled #1 ranked LaCrosse Aquinas to extra innings Friday night in the opening game of a double-header before losing a 10-7 decision, later dropping the nightcap by a 10-0 mark.
The Bluegolds are 11-0 to date in the 2015 season and have outscored their opponents 106-31 in earning the state’s top Division #3 ranking.
“We thought that with what we were facing with their pitching we’d be able to score some runs,” said Sankey. “That was huge that we were able to get right back into the game when they scored a four-spot on us in the fourth and we came right back with our own four runs.”
Trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the fifth, Pacelli used a walk to Calvin Hintz, a passed ball and fielder’s choice to edge closer. In the seventh, Jake Thomas walked with Hintz advancing pinch runner Daniel Mitch with a bunt and then a ground out putting him on third. Mitch then scored on a passed ball to knot the score and two hit batsmen loaded the bases again for Pacelli before a strikeout snuffed the potential winning rally.
In the eighth, Aquinas rallied with a pair of singles to lead off the bonus inning but a bunt attempt allowed the Cardinals to gain a force at third. Another soft single to center loaded the bases with one out with the Blugolds scoring their lead run on a hit-batsman.”
“Things kind of eroded on us,” said Sankey. “We’d have liked them to earn the win a little more as a hit batsman, wild pitch and a walk all contributed to their win.”
Troy Flugaur went the distance on the mound got in the opening game with Andy Tepp going 3×4 at the plate for the Cardinals.
On Saturday, Pacelli hosted Rosholt in double-header action, with a much better outcome as they swept the Hornets by scores of 6-0 and 12-3. Thomas earned the win with three strikeouts in seven innings of mound work with no walks in game one. Chris Shibilski led the Cardinals, going 2X4 while Rosholt’s Spencer Hahn was 2X3 with a pair of doubles.
In Saturday’s second game, Chris Karch was the winning pitcher, going seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Shibilski again led the offense, going 2X3 with Matt Helms going 2X4 with a pair of doubles.
Pacelli (6-4) hosts Weyauwega-Fremont (3-5) on Monday at 4:30 PM at Bukolt and then will travel to Manawa (1-3) on Thursday to take on the Wolves.