The season came to an end for the St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy baseball team on Tuesday afternoon.
The Wolves’ bats were quieted by Blairsville pitcher Josh Daugherty, and Scott Thompson cracked a grand slam in the Bobcats’ 10-2 victory in the District 6 Class A quarterfinals at Homer-City High School.
“I thought they played tight,” said Wolves coach Troy Allen, whose program is in its first season and was making its first district tournament appearance. “We’re a young team, and that can be expected. They can play better but all in all I can’t complain. For a first-year program from where we started to where we finished, next year people will have to worry about where they play us.”
Blairsville (15-2), the No. 2 seed which could not host the game because of a wet, unplayable field, will meet Portage in the district semifinals on Thursday.
The Bobcats led 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, and St. Joseph’s (8-9) had its chances, but a five-run inning, highlighted by Thompson’s grand slam, put the game out of reach.
“It hurt a lot,” Allen said. “We had a few opportunities to push some runs across, but we didn’t execute. We didn’t get the timely hits. We were in it up to that point and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
A Dakota Sunday two-run double during a three-run second helped the Bobcats to the early lead.
St. Joe’s scratched out single runs in the fifth and sixth. In the fifth, Tyler Broderick singled and later scored when Phil Fenstermacker bounced into a field’s choice. The next inning, Trevor Bulick and Dillon Roettger each singled, with Bulick racing around to third base. Nick Shearer then hit into a double play to score Bulick.
The Wolves managed just five singled in the game, and just three off Daugherty in his five innings of work. The senior struck out 10, walked four and both runs were unearned.
Fenstermacker took the loss, allowing eight hits and nine runs, four earned, with four walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings, hurt by four errors from the St. Joseph’s defense.
“Fenstermacker pitched pretty well,” Allen said. “The defense let him down. Frankly we should have been out of it. A couple key plays and we are OK.”
Fenstermacker is one of the team’s two seniors along with Alex McGraw.
“We’re going to miss Phil and Alex,” Allen said. “But we have a lot of returning kids to build upon and good freshmen coming in. The future is bright for us.”