Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic pitcher Jextin Pugh hadn't pitched in over a week and coach Bill Wolf hoped to get his ace left-hander a couple of innings of relief Friday.
It didn't work out, though, and Wolf, jokingly, could only blame Pugh.
One of the area's top scholastic hitters, Pugh crushed a two-run homer into the trees beyond the right-center field fence at Veterans Memorial Field to give the Marauders an 11-0, mercy-rule victory over Ferndale.
The win moves the second-seed Marauders (15-5) into a District 6 Class AA semifinal game with Williamsburg on Monday at Vets. The 11th-seeded Blue Pirates upset No. 3 Claysburg-Kimmel, 3-1, Friday to advance to the final four.
"We did what we talked about," Wolf said. "We wanted to pitch well. Not walk guys. Play good defense.
"If we can do those three things, everything else will take care of itself," Wolf said. "The only thing we didn't get to do was pitch Pugh a few innings. He hasn't pitched since last week.
"We wanted to send him out in the sixth, but we didn't make it there," Wolf added, laughing. "It kind of ruined my plan, but we played pretty well."
The reason the game didn't reach the sixth inning was because of Pugh's two-run, two-out blast that might still be going if it hadn't sailed into the trees near the Jaff a Mosque's upper parking lot.
"After getting intentionally walked a couple times, you're looking for anything to hit you can," Pugh said.
"It was a fastball but it wasn't a strike," Pugh said. "It was too high but I wanted to hit."
Pugh has received several intentional walks this season and noted: "It's frustrating a little bit but it's a sign of respect so you just take it as a free base for whatever helps the team."
It was the third homer of the year for the big left-hander but his first at Vets. He also doubled and scored twice.
Sophomore right-hander Matt Stewart handcuffed Ferndale on just three hits. He struck out three and didn't walk any.
"My fastball, mainly," Stewart said of his best pitch. "The defense was great. I'm usually a control pitcher but this was one of my better days."
The Marauders got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Jared Keller ripped a double to left-center and Nick Johnson singled him home.
Keller, one of only two seniors on the squad, had a double and two singles, scored two runs and drove in two.
"I was seeing the ball pretty well," Keller said. "We took a lot of batting practice this week because we were off and the younger guys stepped up, too. We're pretty solid.
"We have a lot of confidence and a lot of belief in each other," Keller said. "I thought we could have a pretty strong season because we have good pitching and we're tight-knit but I'm not sure we expected to be this good."
Ferndale coach Steve Clawson was disappointed.
"BG hit the ball well today," Clawson said. "We made some uncharacteristic errors, wild pitches and things like that, and it's not normal Ferndale baseball.
"It just wasn't our day."
FERNDALE (0): Helsel ss 201, Berkebile 2b-p 201, Dorchick c 201, Kinsey 3b-2b 200, Beneke p-3b 100, Thomas 1b 100, Hrabosky 4f 200, Sujutovich cf 200, Hockensmith lf 200. Totals - 16-0-3.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (11): Irwin 2b 321, Keller ss 423, Pugh 1b 222, Johnson 3b 301, Pleva c 201, Litzinger cr 000, Krol cf 220, Stewart p 101, Young cr 010, Sweeney dh 211, Adams lf 212, Cursio lf 200. Totals - 23-11-12.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Ferndale000 00 X-0 3 5
Bishop Guilfoyle122 15X X-11 12 0
E-Kinsey 2, Beneke 2, Thomas. 2B-Keller, Sweeney, Pugh. HR-Pugh. RBI-Irwin 2, Keller 2, Pugh 2, Johnson, Pleva, Adams. DP - Bishop Guilfoyle. LOB - Ferndale 2, Bishop Guilfoyle 7.
Guilfoyle IP H R ER SO BB
Stewart (W) 5 3 0 0 3 0
Beneke (L) 2.1 5 5 3 0 5
Berkebile 2.1 7 6 6 2 1
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (15-5); Ferndale (10-10).
Umpires: Larry Stitt (plate); Bob Buck, Joe Bidoli Jr. (bases).