Mooney rallies, splits Sunday twinbill
By Gary Housteau
A two-out dropped fly ball to center field with the bases loaded allowed Cardinal Mooney to score the game-winning run in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 7-6 victory over Akron Hoban in the consolation game of the 2017 Bob Cene Tournament.
Mooney’s Anthony Potesta started the bottom of the eighth inning off by being hit by the pitcher. A sacrifice and then a fielder’s choice moved Potesta to third base before a pair of walks loaded the bases.
Brennen Olesh hit a high fly ball to center and it appeared as if the ninth inning was certain to ensue. But it looked as if the sun played a role in the mishap as the ball hit off the outfielder’s glove and on to the grass and Potesta crossed the plate with the game-winning run.
“I don’t know,” Hoban head coach Andrew Capraruolo said of the error. “We didn’t make the play and they made a couple more plays than we did.”
The Knights started the game off making a lot of plays on offense as they took a 5-0 lead into the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Then Mooney’s batters began to solve Logan Harding, Hoban’s starting pitcher, as the Cardinals scored twice.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Mooney head coach Al Franceschelli said. “After we were down 5-0, we had to kind of get back to basics and start moving runners and have better approaches at the plate.
“But the kids kind of stood up to the challenge.”
Sophomore Johnny Mikos pitched into the sixth inning when Franceschelli pulled him after he gave up a lead-off double. That runner scored the sixth run for Hoban when sophomore J.T. Ogden, in relief of Mikos, allowed him to score on a RBI single.
“[Mikos] was having a hard time with the strike zone but he’s got a real live arm and this is still early in the season,” Franceschelli said. “He needs reps so he had to come out and throw pitches.
“But he got stronger in the fourth and fifth inning and we were able to go to the pen with the lefty and he kind of had things under control.”
Ogden, who was making his first varsity appearance for the Cardinals, pitched three scoreless innings in relief to pick up the mound win.
“He’s a really crafty pitcher,” Franceschelli said. “He doesn’t have a real live fastball but after he follows somebody 10-20 miles an hour faster than him it made him look that much slower. So he was real effective for the time he was in there.”
The Cardinals did most of their damage against the Knights relievers who followed Harding after he toiled for four solid innings.
Chris Lewis had two hits including a two-RBI double, knocking in three runs.
“That was a phenomenal team, he’s a got a lot of talent there,” Franceschelli said. of the Knights “It was a big win for Cardinal Mooney High School. We’re D-III, they’re D-I, it’s an uphill climb all day long.”
Things didn’t end well in Mooney’s second game. A team from Canton, Mich., who fell to St. Edward in the tournament’s title game beat the Cardinals 11-0 in five innings.
Junior Antonio Page took the mound loss.