Calvary uses double play to clinch victory

The Calvary Lions had some trouble fielding the ball through the first six innings.

But they made up for it with one final play.

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Josh Hall reports

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With one out and Calvary clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the seventh, the Lions turned a 5-4-3 double play to claim a 5-4 win against New Haven in the season opener for both teams on Friday.

“I would have lost two dollars on that,” Calvary coach Rusty Bourg said. “I would have never guessed we would have ended the game with a double play. You couldn’t ask for a better ending.”

Calvary (1-0) committed five errors and allowed four unearned runs, but the Lions tallied nine hits — five in the first inning — and limited the Shamrocks (0-1) to three hits on the day.

“We allowed a few too many free baserunners, but we lucked out and made some plays when we had to; made some pitches when we had to,” Bourg said. “It’s just a good all-around win for these kids.”

Beau Monson picked up the win after pitching three scoreless innings in relief for Calvary. The junior right-hander allowed one hit, struck out two and walked two.

Monson issued a walk to lead off the top of the seventh, but bounced back with a strikeout and the game-ending double play.

“I was just going out there wanting to throw some strikes and rely on my defense to back me up,” Monson said. “They came through pretty big.”

Calvary’s offense was just as integral.

The Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to consecutive hits by Monson, Hance Sommerer, Caleb Propts and Bradely MacLaughlin to lead off the frame.

“I thought we swung it well,” said Propts, who was 2-for-3 with two RBI. “If you look back at the opening game of last season, we had one hit. We came out in the first inning today and had at least four hits.”

New Haven threatened to get those runs back in the top of the second, but Sommerer pitched out of a bases-load jam with one out to keep the momentum on Calvary’s side.

Sommerer allowed four runs (no earned) on two hits and struck out one in 2 2/3 inning in relief. MacLaughlin got the opening day start and didn’t allow a hit or a run, but walked five in 1 1/3 inning.

“I would have like to have seen Bradley make it through the second inning, but they were all on kind of a pitch count,” Bourg said. “I knew it was going to take several pitchers.”

New Haven plated an unearned run in the top of the third, then took advantage of three errors in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead.

Calvary got one run back in the bottom of the fourth when Tristan Clementich connected with a two-run double to score Gavin Nutt from second.

The Lions took the lead for good when New Haven committed a throwing error after freshman Colin Bernskeotter laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the game.

“I know Colin can bunt. As a matter of fact I told him, ‘No matter where they play, you’re bunting this time around,’” Bourg said. “Not that the other kids don’t take pride in it, but Colin takes great pride in bunting and hitting the ball on the ground. I had all the confidence in the world that he would get the bunt down.

“Star of the game, maybe.”

Garrett Schoenfeld allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits, while striking out nine and walking two in six innings for New Haven.

The senior right-hander also drove in the Shamrocks’ only run in the top of the fourth.

MacLaughlin and Clementich were both 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Nutt added two hits to help lead the Lions at the plate

Calvary will host Van-Far on Monday, and the Lions hope the momentum continues.

“This was one of our best openers and one of the best games we’ve ever played,” Monson said. “There’s still some things we could clean up here and there, but it was pretty solid all around. It was a great team effort.”

Added Propst: “We can build off that. It will definitely get our momentum and confidence up.”

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