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Seneca tops St. Bede in Tri-County Conference action – Shaw Local
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Seneca tops St. Bede in Tri-County Conference action – Shaw Local

PERU – Seneca played a fairly even match and took advantage of a few costly missteps by St. Bede, leading the Fighting Irish to a 4-1 victory in their Tri-County Conference match on Wednesday.

“We played well and (pitcher) Austin Aldridge was there tonight and hit his spots,” Seneca coach Tim Brungard said. “Plus, our defense played very well. Casey (Clemmons) doesn’t get enough credit there at first (basic). He took some bad throws that could have led to runs. That is important in a tight ball game.”

The game started when Paxton Giertz walked and the second batter tapped the ball back to the mound. But the throw to second base was wild and ended up in center field, putting Seneca runners on first and third base with no one out.

Clemmons then singled for Giertz and Nathan Neal advanced to second base. One batter later, Aldridge ripped an RBI double to put runners on second and third base with one out. At that point, St. Bede pitcher Gino Ferrari stepped into action and struckout the next two batters to keep the score at 2-0 heading into the bottom of the first inning.

In the next two innings, the two pitchers gave up very little. Ferrari (6IP, 3R, 1ER, 5H, 5K, 3BB) gave up only a walk, while Aldridge (7IP, 1R, 1ER, 5H, 3K, 1BB) pitched two perfect innings.

In the fourth, the Irish advanced their third run when Cam Shirley led off with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Aiden Vilcek. Kenny Dagger then delivered a runscoring single, expanding the Irish lead to 3-0.

The Bruins got off to another good start in their half of the inning as Alan Spencer and Ferrari had back-to-back hits. But St. Bede couldn’t get the big blow he needed, and Aldridge fought his way out and the score remained 3-0 going into the fifth.

After a quiet fifth, St. Bede was back at work in the top of the sixth inning and got its first two batters on the field when Ryan Slingsby singled and Gus Burr reached on a fielder’s choice. But the Irish defense stepped up again and turned a double play, and the Bruins ended up scoring just one run.

In the top of the seventh, Giertz reached base again – this time on a Bruins error – and was advanced to second base by Neal before Clemmons delivered another RBI single to make it 4-1.

In the bottom half, the Bruins made some noise when Evan Entrican singled and Gino Dinges walked, but Aldridge again proved too strong and the Irish ran away 4-1 winners.

“It was a good ball game. You can’t make small mistakes against such a good team. We gave them opportunities and they took advantage,” St. Bede coach Bill Booker said. “We had opportunities, but we didn’t take them. We need to take a better approach at the plate and get some big hits. One run is not enough against good teams.”