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Ursuline stymies Poland for 2-1 sectional win

POLAND — It was worth the wait for the Irish when Ursuline traveled to Poland for the sectional final on Thursday.

After having the game postponed Wednesday, the Irish waited until the seventh inning to take the lead and they advanced to the districts with a 2-1 victory over the Bulldogs.

“After having the game postponed yesterday, our kids never wavered,” Ursuline coach Paul Kempe said. “They stepped up to the challenge. Poland is a great team. They’re so well-coached. It was a tremendous year for them. Jacob Hayes pitched a great game for them today. It was a great baseball game.”

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the fourth. Then, senior Matt Paparodis plated fellow senior Matthew Boccieri with an RBI double and the Bulldogs went in front 1-0.

Ursuline tied it up 1-1 in the top of the sixth after back-to-back walks were issued to CJ Frasco and Rowan Urbach. Luke Kollar was next to bat, and he knocked in Frasco with a 2-out RBI single.

“It was a tight situation,” Kollar said. “I saw my pitch, and I hit it. I wasn’t sure if it would get down or not, and it dropped in. The run scored. It’s my birthday, so maybe it was a little bit of birthday luck.”

AJ Snyder singled up the middle in the top of the seventh, and Jake Bednar followed with an infield single before Anthony Triveri hit a grounder that managed to drive home Snyder with the go-ahead RBI.

“We had runners in scoring position,” Triveri said. “I just knew I had to get the job done. I put the bat on the ball, and things went our way. We’ve played good competition all year. It prepared us for games like this.”

The Irish (14-12) still needed to put a zero up on the board in the bottom half of the seventh to advance, and Frasco was the man for the job. After Triveri made a nice play at shortstop to throw out a Poland runner at first base, Frasco struck out the final two batters to end the ballgame.

“It was amazing,” Frasco said. “It was a great game that was tight the whole way. Their pitcher was great. We had a couple of timely hits to help us walk out of here with the win.

“Our goal is always to play into June. We know we can win the district. We just have to play the way we’re capable of like we did today. I love my teammates. Everyone brought the energy we needed.”

Hayes went the distance for the Bulldogs with six strikeouts on 118 pitches. Poland (16-5) had six seniors on the roster this season.

“It was a heck of a ballgame,” Poland coach Rich Murray said. “Ursuline got some hops to go their way in the last inning to help them score. We had an error. That’s how baseball goes sometimes.

“Our seniors were great. They gave me everything they had all season. They set a good example for the program.

“My hats off to CJ Frasco. He pitched a great game. He kept us off balance. We didn’t get the timely hits. In such a close game, that was all there was to it.”

Frasco went the distance as well with 10 strikeouts and just one walk on 95 pitches.

“I’m so proud of our kids,” Kempe said. “It’s been a long year. We played a great schedule. To come back, in a big game like this, I can’t say enough good things about our kids.”

Have an interesting story? Contact the Sports Department by email at sports@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribChronSports.

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