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SENECA — The St. Bede baseball team walked off the field following Thursday’s Class 2A Seneca Sectional semifinal thinking about what could have been.
The Bruins beat themselves as much as Beecher did.
In the 5-2 season-ending defeat to Beecher, St. Bede had two runners thrown out at home plate, had two runners picked off first base, had two errant pickoff throws to first leading to two Beecher runs and lost despite out-hitting Beecher 9-5.
“We had some opportunities but didn’t execute,” SBA coach John Bellino said. “We just did some things we didn’t do all year.”
The Bruins overcame their miscues early as a second-inning solo home run by senior catcher Logan Bima tied the game at 1, and a third-inning RBI double by senior right fielder Brad Groleau gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
However, St. Bede’s miscues cost it in the top of the fifth.
With Beecher runners at first and third with one out, St. Bede starter Damin Smith threw an errant pick-off throw to first base to allow Beecher first baseman Dallas Saddler to score from third to tie the game at 2.
Smith then walked Beecher designated hitter Chase Wyatt to put two on with one out. The walk drew a mound visit from Bellino, who left Smith in the game.
However, Bobcats third baseman Mike Pignatiello hit a two-run go-ahead double to the right-field fence to give Beecher a 4-2 lead.
“I gave him that hitter. I was getting ready to take him out,” Bellino said of the two-run double. “He was struggling all day, and he didn’t have his good stuff.”
The Bobcats tacked on a run in the seventh to take the three-run cushion.
After Beecher pitcher Zach Aring recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh, St. Bede senior shortstop Bobby Morrow singled before senior center fielder Sam Lucas and Groleau both walked to load the bases for senior second baseman and cleanup hitter Austin Schwab.
However, Aring induced Schwab into an easy chopper to the shortstop to end the game.
“You’ve got to give (Beecher) a lot of credit. They played very well,” Bellino said. “We didn’t play as we can, and we did not get the big hits today. We’ve been struggling with the bats lately, and we just seemed to be out of sync.” The Bruins’ blunders halted any momentum.
After Bima’s home run in the second, St. Bede had runners at first and third but the runner at first was picked off to end the threat.
In both the third and fourth innings, the Bruins had a runner thrown out at the plate before having a runner picked off first in the fifth.
Two errors in the top of the seventh also allowed the Bobcats to score an unearned run.
“Those things are momentum killers for them and give us momentum,” said Beecher coach Brandon DuBois, whose team entered the postseason 11-14 and improved to 14-14 with the win. “When they have runners on third base that get picked off, it’s a tough place to be in.”
Morrow and left fielder Jake Postula both had two hits for SBA, which finished the season at 19-3.
Jared Bell be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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