Flashes batter Madison-St. Joe, eyeing playoff berth

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 2, 2001

Lee Wiles of St. Aloysius tags out Madison-St. Joseph’s Matthew Harris at first base on a pickoff in the fourth inning. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[04/02/01] The St. Aloysius Flashes battered Madison-St. Joe 12-2 on Saturday, keeping them on course for their first playoff berth in three seasons.

Charlie Amborn went 3-for-4 with three singles and three RBIs, Blake Warnock was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and three RBIs, Aaron George went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and Clay Simmons and Victor Segers each had two hits to lead St. Al’s 12-hit attack.

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Ryan Hearn allowed just two hits and struck out six in six innings, and got out of his only major jam with the help of a triple play.

“That’s a change. We got it over early and got it done with,” St. Al coach Joe Graves said. “We’re 11-1 now, and I’d like to be 16-1 by the end of next weekend.”

St. Al (11-1, 6-0 Division 6-1A) plays five division games in the next two weeks, and can win the division title by winning three of them.

“Next week is a crucial week. If we win our district ballgames next week, we’ll just about be in the playoffs,” Graves said.

Against Madison (4-7), the Flashes played like a postseason team.

Amborn’s two-run single in the first and Warnock’s RBI triple in the second staked St. Al to a 3-0 lead, and the Flashes blew the game open in the fourth.

Four straight hits, including a two-run double by Warnock, an RBI single by Amborn and George’s two-run blast to left-center brought in five runs and made it 8-0.

St. Al added another run in the fifth on Simmons’ sacrifice fly, and closed out the game with two runs in the sixth.

“We just didn’t hit the baseball. St. Al came out and was more aggressive at the plate,” said Madison-St. Joe coach John Juniker, whose team has been ravaged by injuries and inexperience. The Bruins have three outfielders out with ankle injuries and start three freshmen.

Madison’s biggest threat was snuffed out by St. Al’s first triple play of the season.

Trailing 8-1, the Bruins had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the fifth when catcher Dustin Venable hit a bouncer to short. Madison left fielder Scott Thomas scored from third as the Flashes turned the double play, but shortstop Richard Leofoldt tried to score from second.

St. Al first baseman Lee Wiles turned and fired home after he caught the relay throw, and easily gunned down Leofoldt.

“I couldn’t believe he was actually going to go home. We had him nailed,” Wiles said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a triple play.”