The "pop" of the catchers mitt was heard early and often and the "crack" of the ball off the bat was a little duller than usual as Kellenberg's Matt Weissheir and St. John the Baptist's Chris Lemorocco navigated through nearly six full innings of shutout baseball, blowing fastballs past hitters and making it tough for anyone to make solid contact.
Weissheir and Lemorocco matched each other zero for zero until the bottom of the sixth when Kellenberg third baseman Dan Eicher lined Lemorocco's pitch the opposite way over the rightfielder's head for a double. That scored the only two runs of the game in Kellenberg's 2-0 CHSAA victory over St. John the Baptist at the East Meadow Sports Complex.
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Weissheir finished with 10 strikeouts and allowed just four hits. "I just had to locate and hit the corners," Weissheir said. "The ump was calling it low and away and I figured I'd sit there and try to paint the corners a little bit."
Lemorocco struck out nine and allowed five hits.
"I saw a curveball was coming, so I was just really looking to drive the ball the other way," Eicher said. He drove it far enough to allow Connor Powers and Anthony Petrucci to score.
"Dan Eicher didn't make the team last year and now he's playing this year as a senior and it was a huge hit for him," coach Chris Alfalla said. "I'm really proud of him. I was starting to get a little nervous there when we weren't putting any runs on the board."
SJB threatened in the bottom of the seventh and it caused the coaches to convene on the mound with two outs.
"If you take me out now, I'm never coming to practice again," Weissheir said he told the coaches before retiring the final batter on a pop fly.
"Weissheir is just awesome and the crazy thing is there's room for improvement," Alfalla said. "He's going to get better, he's going to get in better shape and pick up some miles on his fastball and work on his command on his curveball and just get better. I thought he was great today, so the finished product should be awesome."