Ed Bartolec pithed a four-hitter in the tournament opener against the Bulldogs.
By JOHN BUTERA
EAST PALESTINE -- The Cardinal Mooney High baseball team appears to be peaking at the right time.
Ed Bartolec tossed a complete game four-hitter as the Cardinals (6-12) edged East Palestine 3-2 Monday in the opening round of the Division III sectional tournament.
Mooney will play Crestview next Monday at Cene Park.
"This game is hopefully going to give us a major lift," said Bartolec (3-2). "We've put together three straight wins and if we can stay together and not give up, who knows what will happen?"
Leading 2-1 in the sixth, Mooney scored an important run when Jeff Hehr singled, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Brian Drummond, who also had a single, hit an RBI groundout to score Hehr.
Bulldogs take early lead
In the first inning, Bartolec gave up a leadoff triple to Ed Byerly, who scored on a Brandon Lewis groundout to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Bartolec gave up just one more hit until the seventh.
Mooney tied the game when Mike McDermott reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third. He scored on a wild pitch to tie the game
Mooney let a scoring opportunity go by in the second. Drummond and Bill Diorio had back-to-back singles, but East Palestine got out of the jam with a 6-4-3 double play.
Joe Burke tripled to lead off the fifth for the Cardinals and scored on a wild pitch, despite a close play at the plate.
"That triple by Burke was huge," said Mooney coach Tom Flynn. "I thought it was the biggest hit of the game."
Snuffs late rally
In their last at-bat, the Bulldogs (8-10) managed to get the first two runners on base, and after Richard McNeal's sacrifice moved the runners to second and third with one out, D.J. Yoakley managed a sacrifice fly to score Zak Weber, but Bartolec struck out Frank Newman to end the game.
"In a game like this, it comes down to making every pitch and tonight two bad pitches cost us the game," East Palestine coach Tom Henry said.
Greg Harris had two of the Bulldogs' four hits off Bartolec and also stole a base.
"We're definitely starting to play better, especially defensively," Flynn said. "But Monday we face an outstanding Crestview team and I know we'll really be tested."