April 19th, 2017
Short helps Cougars win a thriller over the Colts
DeSales was one out away from winning the baseball version of the Southside Showdown for the first time in two years but Holy Cross had other plans.
Holy Cross rallied with nobody on with two-outs in the top of the seventh inning to stun the host Colts 4-3 Wednesday night.
Ethan Short’s go-ahead two-run base hit proved to be the game winner.
“He has been swinging the bat so well for us in the past three or four ballgames,” Holy Cross head coach Pat Wiegandt said. “He hit a bomb yesterday that started the scoring against Valley. He is finally turning on the baseball and putting quality at-bats together. He is making contact and positive impacts. That’s been the difference with our lineup.”
It was the Cougars (9-7) second straight win in the series and has now won three of their last four against the Colts (9-10) over the past four years.
“This is a good win,” Short said. “Last year we beat them on our field and that felt good after they smacked us two years 14-1. I just wanted to beat them again this year. Before the game I said ‘we’re going to do this and win again.’ That’s what we did.”
Trailing 3-2 with two outs and nobody on, DeSales pitcher Alec Brothers was one out away from earning a complete game.
“They made a play and took advantage of the situation,” DeSales head coach T.J. Cataldo said. “Alec is a great pitcher and always gives you a chance to win. He always gives his heart and gives you everything and he did that tonight. You hate it for Alec because you want to see him come out of this with a W and not a loss.”
The top of the order for the Cougars came up with two outs and Brothers ran into trouble.
“I told them this is our ballgame and to go break some heart,” Wiegandt said. “I told them to take their win away. That’s all I told them. We stayed in the ballgame all day. They went through those pressure at-bats to get on base and that’s the point I have been trying to get across to them. We have to keep battling, our pitchers give us a chance, and we have to get them on, get them over, and get them in. That’s what we want to do.”
Gavin Foushee singled and Christian Schulten and Ray Steilberg walked to load the bases.
“I knew there were two outs and I had to get on base to extend the game,” Foushee said. “I knew the people behind me were going to help out, they did, and that’s what won us the game.”
Short then delivered with a single up the middle scoring Foushee and Schulten giving the Cougars a 4-3 lead.
“Alec wasn’t giving me anything I really liked at first,” Short said. “He wasn’t giving anybody anything they liked. You have to take what he gives you. I don’t know what it was that he threw and I swung and luckily it went down the middle.”
Steilberg, normally a starter, came out to throw the seventh for Holy Cross and almost blew it. He plunked Mitch Sirohman, walked Brothers, and hit Dustin Hollenkamp to load the bases with two outs.
But Steilberg survived getting Gilly Simpson to strike out swinging ending the game.
“We had a good approach at the plate in the last inning,” Cataldo said. “The guys did a good job of getting themselves on base and put us in a situation where we might have been able to win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us. Our guys fought and we have been in a lot of one run ball games this year but we’re coming out of them at the wrong end. But we will keep working. I’ll get better as a coach and they’ll get better as players.”
The Cougars jumped out in front 1-0 in the first inning when Chase Phillips delivered an RBI single and Foushee had a run scoring base hit to make it 2-0 in the second inning.
Drew Smith’s RBI singled pulled the Colts within 2-1 in the second inning.
It was Brothers one-out two-run double that gave the Colts a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning.
Brothers led the Colts with two hits and two RBIs. Sam Newkirk also had two hits, Drew Smith had one hit and one RBI, and Simpson had one hit.
Short, the Cougars hero, went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Foushee went 2 for 3, drew a walk, and drove in a run. Phillips had one hit and one RBI while Hunter Adams had one hit.
“Alec is a fantastic pitcher,” Foushee said. “I was just relaxed at the plate and seeing the pitches really well. I was taking more pitches than I usually do.”
Phillips started on the hill for the Cougars and threw six innings (89 pitches) and allowed three runs, three earned, six hits, walked three, and struck out two.
“My knuckle-changeup and curveball were working really well,” Phillips said. “I kept those pitches low and that helped me. I threw my fastball outside the whole game. I tried to keep that pitch to the right side and that forced them to hit to the right and we did a good job fielding those. I made the mistake in the fifth inning but we got them back.”
Ray Steilberg threw the final inning and struck out one, walked one, and plunked two. He didn’t allow a hit.
Brothers started for the Colts and tossed 6 and 2/3 innings (116 pitches) and allowed four runs, three earned, eight hits, walked three, and struck out four.
“Alec is a hell of a baseball player,” Wiegandt said. “He makes good pitches, he’s a great fielder, and he scares me at the plate. I knew they were going to leave him out there and I think he might have been tired. Gavin took advantage with two outs and did a great job of starting the rally.”
Smith retired the only batter he faced.
“We just have to keep working,” Cataldo said. “We need to keep giving everything we have. They have a great attitude and it shows. They’re doing a great job of improving and we will keep doing that. We will look back at this game and see what we did well and see what we didn’t do so well at and improve from that.”