Archbishop Wood gathers late to pass St. Joe’s training in PCL quarterfinals – thereporteronline
WARMINSTER >> Patrick McKinney knew he disappeared as soon as he left his bat.
Archbishop Wood’s junior catcher provided an explosion at the end of the fuse with his good head, a three-time home run at the bottom of the fifth half of Saturday, the only swing that turned everything upside down for the Viking host. Seeded No. 2 in the PCL playoffs battled No. 7 seeded St. Joe’s Prep, but some self-starting energy in the fifth provided all the drive Voodoo needed to finish.
The Vikings ’fifth inning rally led to a strong finish and a 4-2 victory over the Hawks when Wood reached the Catholic League semifinals next week.
“I felt like I endured it and I don’t know, I felt used to it serving,” McKinney said. “We faced a very good pitcher, but I was closed and knew I was great for my team.
“We always find a way to choose each other and get loud, that’s where it all started.”
The bout between right-handed Ryan Malock and right-hander Wood’s Michael Trommer was a good one, even though both throws took a long time under the debilitatingly hot sun on a day when temperatures were already touching 90 at the start at 11am.
Wood struck the first blow, pushing a run at the bottom of the first half when the ball to the right of Aiden Myers, who would have been a flight anyway, was dropped into the far field, allowing runner Sean Carroll to score. This lead didn’t last even halftime when Dan Picariel of Prep brought out the second with a long flash from one to the center field, setting the man from the bottom of Cole Niels to launch a double blast to the center left, giving the Hawks a 2-1 advantage.
“I was most proud that our children, especially after falling behind early, continued to play,” said Viking coach Jim DiGizepe Jr. “We’re talking about ups and downs, so just keep playing baseball. They did a great job today. ”
The fantastic play of right fielder Prep Joe McGuinness at the bottom of the second turned a regular ball into a double play when he threw a rocket into the third to double a runner trying to get out of second base, stopping a potential Woody rally and keeping Hawks ahead. It seemed that this might be enough for Molok, the recruiting Likha, who was putting the Vikings back in order in the third and fourth innings.
In the fifth everything turned around, starting with Braden Kelly’s bat to get out of the frame. Kelly, a lone sophomore in Wood’s starting lineup, was fighting in full force and bursting into the win when Joey Gale’s “Vikings” outfield came out of the dugout with a few clear words of encouragement.
Gail, a junior who made an impressive catch at the center to help close the seventh inning, is no stranger to coming to a big late in the PCL playoff game. Last season, when he was a sophomore, it was his entry into the Grand Slam that brought Wood to the quarterfinals, but all he wanted Kelly to do was get to base.
“I got this from one of our seniors last year, Luke Cantwell, just a great energetic guy, and he really knew how to destroy us, and you really need to know how to turn it on,” Gail said. “Braden looks best on our team, he knows the area better than anyone I’ve ever known and he’s just a sophomore. I just told him (Malak) would hit him, he was striking the whole game, so I told him to just put up the barrel and he would go. “
Kelly singled out, and Brian Klump put a textbook on the textbook, which shifted the balance to the goal position and turned the schedule on Gail in the lead. In their first two fights, Malok got the best of Gale, and Wood Jr. was again in a difficult position with a score of 0-2, looking for a small ransom.
This ransom came in the form of a single exit to the center and the timely detention of Kelly DiGizep Jr. at third base, keeping people at corners with one exit.
“0-2 – it’s all mental, you have to say to yourself, ‘this guy won’t beat me, he won’t beat me,’ and that’s exactly what I did,” Gail said. “He got me twice, this guy was a great pitcher, he knocked me out, but you have to learn from your bats. I was not disappointed in myself, got a barrel and left. “
Coach Wood, feeling that something was going on with his team, did not want to send Kelly at this point, when the defense of Prep quickly got to the ball, and McKinney approached the dish.
“When Pat came up, I didn’t want him thrown out on a plate,” said DiGizep Jr. “We were able to take advantage of the fact that Pat came up a lot.”
Of course the Vikings did. McKinney quickly moved to first place when the ball left the yard, making a bend as he rounded to second base when DiGizep Jr. celebrated in third base box. The catcher made his way to the rest of the bases, sharing a resolute “give-five” with his coach in third place and forcing him to count against the hard knock of a home plate when Gale and the rest of the Vikings came out to greet him.
“This ball hasn’t landed yet,” Gail said with a wide smile.
“Knowing that you’re a great fit for your teammates is a great feeling,” McKinney said.
There was still a game to win, and Trommer was ready for it. The senior pitcher gave up the leading singles at the top of the sixth, but escaped without prejudice to the outfielder’s choice, after which his defense led a 4-6-3 double game to calm the Hawks.
Trommer struck out six, but it was his ability to control the zone that made the right-hander so effective on Saturday. He didn’t take part in many lengthy fights with Prep strikers and passed just two bouncers, noticing his fastball to limit the Hawks to just four strikes.
After giving up the home run in the second, Trommer was unable. In the third and fourth innings he left the side on the results of 1-2-3, in the fifth and sixth kept training, and in the seventh recorded a victory with another 1-2-3.
“I caught him a bunch, so we got used to each other at this point,” McKinney said. “The biggest thing was just to keep hitting.”
Wood will return to the field in the semifinals on May 25.
“We have to ride this,” Gail said. “This is one thing I try to preach, you have to be mentally strong. We all work so hard, but it will only take you so far. You have to be mentally strong, we’ve been down, it could have been our last bats, so you have to have that approach, and if you do, you’re going into survival mode. “
Archbishop Wood 4, preparation of St. Joe 2
PREPARATION OF SET JO 020 000 0 – 2 4 1
ARCHBISHOP OF WOOD 100 030 x – 4 7 1
HR: AW – Patrick McKinney; SJP – Cole Nils. 2B: AW – Richie Banina