Small things add up in Marauders’ victory
BLAIRSVILLE — Making the plays often go a long way toward victory, especially in a game like baseball.
Bishop Guilfoyle took advantage of two errors and a hit batsman in the sixth inning of its 8-3 victory against River Valley in a District 6 Class 2A baseball playoff game on Thursday afternoon at Wyotech Park.
“We always focus on doing the small things right,” winning pitcher Austin Beauchamp said.
The fifth-seeded Marauders (12-7) will face top-seeded Portage in a semifinal-round playoff game on Tuesday.
“They’re undefeated. They won the WestPAC (championship),” BG coach Tommy Williams said. “So, we’ll be ready.”
Bishop Guilfoyle also turned rally killers when it cut down runners on the base paths in two separate innings.
“Those are bigger plays. You can’t always count on them. But when they go your way, it’s a great momentum shift,” Beauchamp said.
One such instance occurred in the second inning when a River Valley runner stole second as part of what the Panthers attempted to sell as a double steal. Matt Izzo, the lead runner, was caught wandering too far off third base, however, and was retired for the final out on an alert relay from Owen Dombrosky, the starting pitcher, to Devyn DeGennaro.
“The kid was just a little antsy. We knew what they were going to do,” River Valley coach Mark Palmer said.
A run-scoring single by Dombrosky and RBI double by Nick Negola helped snap a 3-all tie and put the game out of reach.
“I told the kids we just need to put the ball in play. If you put the ball in play, good things can happen,” Williams said.
The Marauders struck out only four times and committed only one error.
“The pitchers threw strikes for us, and we played good defense,” Williams said.
Dombrosky pitched the first three innings, and yielded to Beauchamp with the scored tied at 2.
“That was our game plan going in. It was to ride Owen out for maybe two or three innings,” Williams said.
Beauchamp, a junior, gave up a run in the fifth before he launched a string of five consecutive strikeouts. He finished the day with eight strikeouts.
“I have a really great defense to work with. I can really trust them,” he said. “I just need to find the strike zone. The curve ball, luckily, really helped me out. But having these guys behind me knowing they will make plays is huge.”
“Our pitchers might take an inning to get settle down and find a groove,” Williams said. “But we have four, five, six guys who I have faith in who can throw. So, everybody else is ready to go.”
Dombrosky and Cooper Rother led the Marauders with three hits apiece. Rother scored three times, and Dombrosky drove in three runs.
“This is probably the most united team that Bishop Guilfoyle has ever had as a baseball program,” Beauchamp said. “I’m very proud of us and think that we can do some damage in these playoffs.
River Valley (12-6) entered the playoffs minus two injured starters, according to Palmer.
“We had a little inexperience that kind of hurt us,” he said. “We played solid for awhile. But we couldn’t overcome those mistakes.”
River Valley starter Andrew Baker, who pitched the first 5ª innings, suffered from the lack of defensive support.
“He was there the whole game. It was a one-run game, back and forth,” Palmer said. “If we don’t make those mistakes, they don’t score.”
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (8): Rother ss 533, Beauchamp 2b-p 400, Sell 1b-2b 311, Dombrosky p-3b 413, Negola cf 411, Wyandt c 200, Hagg cr 010, Query dh 300, Reilly pr 000, DeGennaro 3b-1b 300, Lafferty lf 400, Siford ss 411. Totals — 33-8-9.
RIVER VALLEY (3): A. Bartolino cf 322, R. Bartolino dh 300, Witmer ss 000, Staats c 402, Baker p-3b 310, Stuchal 1b 200, Simmons 2b 200, Yanits lf 100, McCulley 3b-2b 200, Reaugh rf 200. Totals — 23-3-5.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Bishiop Guilfoyle 001 115 0 — 8 9 1
River Valley 011 010 0 — 3 5 3
E–DeGennaro, Reaugh 2, Stuchal. LOB–Bishop Guilfoyle 9, River Valley 6. 2B–Dombrosky, Rother, Negola, Staats. RBI–Dombrosky 2, Sell, Negola, Wyandt, Staats 2, Stuchal. SB–Beauchamp, Dombrosky, Siford, McCulley, A. Bartolino. CS–McCully. SH–Stuchal, Beauchamp. SF–Stuchal.
Dombrosky, BG: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Beauchamp, BG: (W) 4 IP 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
Baker, RV: (L) 5ª IP, 9 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 2 K, 4 K
Izzo, RV: 1• IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
HBP: Sell (by Baker). WP–Beauchamp 2, Baker.
Umpires: Home, Marty Knezovich; First, Ben Furman; Third, Pete Jones.