Calhoun's Zach Mastrangelo defeats MacArthur
Calhoun needed a strong pitching performance Thursday if it wanted to avert a three-game sweep by first-place MacArthur, and Zach Mastrangelo delivered.
The junior righthander allowed two runs and three hits and struck out six in six innings. He worked out of tough spots in the later innings in a 4-2 road win in Conference AA-III.
"It's great to put a win under my belt and all our belts," Mastrangelo, the Colts' third starter, said.
Carmine Criscione started for MacArthur, allowing three runs in 52/3 innings and striking out six.
With the score tied at 2 in the fifth, Mastrangelo stranded runners on second and third when he snagged a comebacker off the bat of MacArthur's RBI leader, Anthony DeNunzio.
After Calhoun took a 3-2 lead on Dillan Morris' RBI single in the sixth, Mastrangelo was approaching his pitch limit when he allowed the potential tying run to reach second in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, he fought through a long at-bat to earn a strikeout, and he let out a triumphant scream with a fierce fist pump as he left the mound.
"I've learned that you shouldn't get rattled on the mound," Mastrangelo said. "The comebacker was all quick reflexes . . . and that last strikeout was awesome. I threw 97 pitches today and [my coaches] didn't want me to go past 100, so I was dwindling down and it just felt great to battle through it and strike him out at the end."
Calhoun (10-4) preserved the win thanks to Tom Joannou's toughness. In the seventh, Joannou was hit in the ribs by a pitch and advanced to third with two outs. He scored on a wild pitch, sliding in to give the Colts the 4-2 lead.
MacArthur (9-2) brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the seventh, but Joannou made a diving catch in centerfield to end the game.
"I got a good read on it and I knew we had to get that out because they had their good hitters coming up," Joannou said. "[That pitch] hurt but I knew my team needed me on the basepaths and in the field, so it worked out."