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Gaels do just enough to beat Lions

April 20, 2007|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

St. Maria Goretti baseball coach John Bowen was clearly disappointed by his club's lack of timely hitting.

But he wasn't about to let it dampen the Gaels' 4-1 victory over visiting Broadfording Christian Academy on Thursday.

"We're still having trouble getting timely hits," said Bowen. "We try everything from bunting to hit-and-runs, but nothing seems to work. We have to be better in those types of situations."

BCA starter Paul Merson (1-3) deserves much of the credit for Bowen's dissatisfaction, with 11 strikeouts in a complete-game loss.

"He kept us off balance, and mixed his pitches really well," said Bowen. "He did a really good job. I was impressed."

While the Gaels (4-6) were unable to take advantage of opportunities to blow the game open offensively - nine Gaels were left on base - starting pitcher David Plank (2-1) controlled the game, allowing just four hits and striking out eight, while taking a shutout into the seventh inning.

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"He pitched an excellent game," said BCA coach John Bakner. "He just couldn't have pitched any better."

Goretti took a 1-0 lead in the first when J.J. O'Neill laced a one-out triple, and Plank singled, but failed to capitalize on the first of four Lions errors later in the inning.

Dan Rost walked with one out in the second for the Gaels, and moved to third on a throwing error before David Bowen's single made it 2-0.

Goretti completed its scoring in the third on a Plank walk, a double by Alex Zoretich and a one-out, two-RBI double from Paul Donoghue.

The Lions (2-4) had several scoring opportunities as well, but had baserunners cut down twice attempting to steal by Gaels catcher Jay Donoghue. Broadfording also failed to score with the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth.

BCA spoiled Plank's shutout bid in the seventh when Jake Pryor opened with a single and Phillip Wall walked. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. After Plank fielded a ground ball and threw to first for the first out, first baseman Paul Donoghue threw home to cut down Pryor trying to score.

Then, with Wall on third, Ryan Halderman grounded to short, but reached when O'Neill threw wildly to first, allowing Wall to score.

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