Lopsided high school baseball games can become a nightmare for scorekeepers. Take Saturday's Central-Bishop Carroll Catholic game for example.
High school rules enable teams to use courtesy runners for pitchers and catchers and they also permit players taken out of games to re-enter. That often leads to coaches clearing their benches.
Central coach A.J. Hoenstine did just that as the Scarlet Dragons mercy-ruled Bishop Carroll, 16-3, in the semifinals of the 12th annual Curve Classic at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The game was stopped after five innings.
Central used 22 different players and, when asked if he left any players home, Hoenstine quipped: "No, we did that for the scorekeeper."
The Dragons actually put the game away in the top of the first inning when they sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs on seven hits, one walk, and a hit batsman.
It took 27 minutes before Carroll got its turn to hit in the bottom of the first inning.
"We look forward to coming out and playing hard," Hoenstine said of the quick start, "and these guys always play the game the right way. We try to stress that with all of our teams.
"We have some real good leadership throughout - a great group of seniors and a fantastic group of underclassmen," Hoenstine noted. "We got contributions from everybody."
Austin Cunningham, Bradi Moore and Brendon Vollkommer all contributed two-RBI singles in the big first inning. Cunningham batted four times, had three hits and was hit by a pitch. He drove in four runs and scored two.
"I thought we had some good at-bats today," Hoenstine said. "Baseball is a funny game. We put up numbers early and John Johnson pitched well. We planned on throwing [Johnson], we weren't sure when, and he really pitched well."
Ethan Lewis was penciled in as Central's starting pitcher, but, when the Dragons scored nine times in the first, Hoenstine decided to go with sophomore Johnson, who pitched four innings for the win.
Lewis was hit on the shin by a line drive in the fourth and John Michael Knepp pitched the last inning.
Now 8-0, Central will face Hollidaysburg in today's championship game at 1 p.m.
CENTRAL (16): Cunningham ss 323, A. Hoenstine ss 100, Lewis p-rf 201, Kensinger 000, Stern 1b 211, Rice 1b 000, Moore lf 211, Ponder lf 110, Mock dh 321, Mellott rf 100, Johnson p 000, N. Hoenstine 2b 131, Ritchey 2b-3b 100, Langer 2b 000, Vollkommer 3b 321, McKnight 3b 111, Frederick c 100, Emerick ph 010, Cox ph 100, Knepp p 000, Slagenweit cf 211, Gahagan cf 111. Totals - 26-16-12.
BISHOP CARROLL (2): Woo cf 200, Hull lf-rf 000, Kerr rf-1b 100, Lucas p-2b 110, Watt ss-p-ss 301, Weiland 3b-p 200, V. Lessard 3b 100, Martinazzi lf-cf-lf 211, M. Lessard 1b 211, Surkovich 2b-ss-cf 201, Mento c-p 201, Noel rf 000, Durbin p-3b 100, Clark c 100. Totals - 20-3-5.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Central933 01X X-16 12 2
Bishop Carroll020 01X X-3 5 5
E-Johnson, Langer, Kerr, Watt, Surkovich, Noel, Durbin. 2B-Mock. RBI-Cunningham 4, Lewis, Stern, Moore 2, N. Hoenstine 2, Vollkommer 2, Slagenweit 2, Gahagan, Mento. WP-Johnson. LP-Lucas.
Umpires: Bill Johnston (plate), John Garritano (bases).
Records: Central (8-0); Bishop Carroll (2-3).