BANGOR— Andy Catlin and the John Bapst baseball team could not find the holes early at Husson University’s Winkin Complex Thursday.
“We knew if we could put together some hits, then we could put some runs on the board.” said Catlin, but the hits just weren’t coming as easily as the team would want.”
The Crusaders got the bat on the ball throughout their game against Hermon, but always managed to hit it right at someone.
Luckily for John Bapst, Catlin found a hole in the bottom of the seventh to help complete a comeback for a 3-2 victory.
Catlin stepped in and roped a line drive to the gap in right-center with the game tied 2-2 going into the home half of the seventh inning. Josh Storegaard, coming all the way around from first, rounded third and beat the relay throw by inches to give the Crusaders the win.
“I thought if I could hit it to the right-center gap, [Storegaard] could make his way around,” Catlin said.
Crusaders coach David Gonyar was not surprised by Catlin’s strong finish.
“Andy seems to get in a groove as the game goes on,” said Gonyar, noting it was the best ball he had seen Catlin hit all year.
“He’s just been getting better and more confident,” he added.
Evan Pelkey helped tie the game an inning earlier for the Crusaders as he tripled to lead off the sixth and scored on a wild pitch by Hermon starter Braddock Debay.
After tripling, Dan Davis scored on an infield error in the fourth for the Crusaders’ first run.
The Crusaders collected just six hits off Deabay, two apiece from Catlin and Sean O’Donnell to go with the triples by Davis and Pelkey.
Pitchers Jon Deschane and Shawn Curran, along with the Crusaders defense, held the Hawks to just seven hits and kept John Bapst in the game.
“What they got, they earned,” Gonyar said about the Hermon offense.
He was happy with the contributions made on defense, suggesting that it made up for what was lost at the plate.
“You take a guy like Max Andrews who had a couple opportunities at the plate that didn’t happen for him today, but he makes a couple huge picks out at first.”
Hermon kicked off the scoring in the third as Taylor Fournier tripled and then scored on a ball hit by Jarod Cox that scorched under the glove of third baseman O’Donnell. Will Perkins stepped up next and tripled to the gap in left-center to score Cox and give the Hawks a 2-0 advantage.
The Hawks were led by Deabay’s two hits. Deabay went seven innings for Hermon, striking out seven.
John Bapst improves to 10-1, while Hermon drops to 6-4.
After his team lost its first game of the season last week to Foxcroft in another tight game, Gonyar felt the Crusaders needed this victory in a similar type of game.
“Mentally, it’s a big lift for when you get into those close ones to know you can pull it out,” he said.
“You have to feel these situations,” he added
With the playoffs approaching, it was important in Gonyar’s opinion for the team to understand that the wins would not come easily from here forward.
“This time of year, when teams are playing, most of your games are going to be like this,” he said.
“You need to be able to experience it, keep your composure and battle.”