By Ken McKenzie
The Pacelli Cardinals logged a solid 7-4 win over Weyauwega-Fremont Monday.
The win came in part thanks to the pitching of Matt Helms, who spaced eight hits while striking out 12 and walking one in going the distance. Helms yielded a solo run in the first inning but then settled in for a strong mound performance, including striking out the side in the fifth.
“Matt was on today,” said Coach Wayne Sankey. “Today I think he only had two or three full counts while in his last outing, he had 12. Those little things make a big difference.”
The Cardinals answered the Indians’ opening volley with two runs of their own with Chris Shibilski singling to center with one out. The Cardinals’ right fielder then stole second, while Cal Hintz walked and Helms helped his own pitching cause with a two-out single up the middle, giving Pacelli the 2-1 lead.
In the Pacelli second, a pair of walks were followed with a two-out infield single by Shibilski to load the bases. Jake Thomas was safe on an error to add a run and earn the 3-1 lead.
The Indians got a one-out single from Sam Schoenick but the would-be rally was snuffed on a line drive out to Helms who easily doubled the runner at first.
In the Cardinals’ fourth, Ethan Jansch had a solid single to left and scored on Shibilski’s third single on the night as Pacelli pushed the margin to 4-1. Shibilski led the hitting with a 3×4 night at the plate.
Weyauwega-Fremont edged in a run on a pair of singles with a throwing error on a force attempt at second leading to the 4-2 score with the Indians stranding two.
Pacelli answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning with Chris Karch getting a double off the center-fielder’s glove. Flugaur’s bunt attempt yielded a wild throw past first base with Jansch’s bunt advancing the runners. Andy Tepp’s single through a drawn-in infield scored one run and Thomas followed with another single to left and Hintz’s single with the combination putting two insurance runs on the board.
The Indians tallied twice in the seventh on a walk, catcher’s interference and single to make the game interesting but Helms got a fly-out to end the game.
Pacelli (7-4, 3-2) continues with Central Wisconsin 8 action Thursday when they travel to Manawa (1-3) and return home to Bukolt Park Friday against conference leader, Iola-Scandinavia, (6-1, 5-1), with both games slated for 4:30 PM. Saturday, the Cardinals play a non-conference, double-header at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids against host Assumption (4-3, 3-0 in Marawood South Conference) with game times at 4 & 6 PM.