Tom Chanis' sac fly lifts Chaminade over Holy Trinity
Tom Chanis lifted the fly ball to deep right in the fading sun at Cantiague Park. Aidan Katzman ran home on the walk-off sac fly in the eighth.
This baseball game between two strong NSCHSAA teams Wednesday was filled with missed opportunities. But Chaminade didn’t miss out on this one.
The defending CHSAA Class AA state champ and three-time defending NSCHSAA champ outlasted Holy Trinity, 3-2, in the finale of the two-game series after dropping Tuesday’s opener, 6-3.
“I think our lineup is definitely the best in the league,” Chanis said.
The Flyers (2-1, 1-1), after their 25-2 brilliance of last season, have 14 players back. But their three primary starters graduated to the college ranks.
“Listen, we’re still in a developmental stage with our pitching,” coach Mike Pienkos said. “ . . . Our rotation really is not set yet. So hopefully by the end of the season we’ll be set,” Pienkos said laughing
That wasn’t the only thing that gave him a chuckle.
It was 2-2 in the top of the eighth. There were two outs and a runner on second for the Titans. Pienkos summoned junior lefty John Carroll, the JV’s top pitcher last season, to make his varsity debut, facing lefty-hitting Nick DelVecchio.
On Carroll’s first offering, he yanked a curve for a wild pitch — runner on third.
“I said to the coaches, ‘Boy, I hate bringing in a relief pitcher with a runner in scoring position because the first pitch is normally a wild one,’ ” Pienkos said, laughing again. “And sure enough it went right to the screen.”
The promising Carroll was unfazed.
“At that point, I’m ready to hit my spot,” he said. “I know I’ve been working for this pretty much my whole life.”
DelVecchio bounced the next pitch, a fastball, to short — threat over. And Carroll got the win.
Katzman opened the bottom half with a single off reliever Sean Atkinson, stole second, moved to third on an infield out and scored on Chanis’ fly ball.
“I was just looking to put bat on ball and get the ball out of the infield,” Chanis said.
Chaminade scored two off starter Gabe Klarikaitis in the third. But Holy Trinity (2-1, 1-1) countered with two off starter Matt Brandt in the fifth.
“We’re really athletic on the field,” Titans coach Dan Luisi said. “Our lineup is deep, and we’ve got good front line arms. We lost a game to a really good team today.”