Ace reliever puts clamps on St. Aloysius offense

Published 11:41 pm Saturday, April 14, 2012

St. Andrew’s best reliever was anything but a relief for the St. Aloysius offense.

Baylor Obert entered in the fourth inning in a 4-all deadlock and the Flashes managed just two hits off him in a four-inning relief stint as St. Andrew’s won 9-4.

The lack of offense against a quality pitcher is a concern for first-year St. Al coach Derrik Boland as his team looks forward to the Class 1A playoffs. The Flashes (7-16) will open a best-of-three series against the No. 2 team from Division 6-1A on Friday at Bazinsky Field. Game 2 and 3, if necessary, will be away.

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“We couldn’t get our bats going,” Boland said. “Defensively and pitching-wise, we were fine this week. Baylor is a good pitcher, but I’m concerned with our bats. That’s the one thing that’s missing for us.”

St. Andrew’s (19-5) is a contender for the Class 3A title and having Obert in the pen will be a big reason why, said Saints coach Mark Fanning.

“Once we start playoffs, Obert is going to be our main reliever,” Fanning said. “This was the best he’s looked on mound this year. And while we didn’t hit the ball well, we got some balls to the right spot.”

The Flashes took a 4-1 lead against St. Andrew’s starter Corban Snider after three innings. St. Al’s Derrick Dolan, who had not started a varsity game since the Greenville-St. Joseph contest, pitched three solid innings and turned the game over to reliever Seth Carpenter.

The Saints took advantage of Carpenter’s early wildness for two walks, a hit from Connor Woodall, and an infield error to score three runs and tie the game at 4.

It stayed that way until the top of the sixth. With one out, Obert sent a fly ball into right-center. St. Al centerfielder Andrew Collins got a glove on the ball, but could not complete the catch and two runs scored to break the tie. Two batters later, William Rowell tripled to right as St. Al right-fielder Will Pierce dove late for the ball. Three more runs scored but Rowell was denied an inside the park home run when he was tagged out by catcher Ben Welp. Obert allowed the Flashes only a pair of hits.

Cathedral 2, PCA 0

Porters Chapel’s season ended in disappointing fashion with a loss to Cathedral in Natchez. Talbot Buys went six innings, giving up just two runs.

Jacob Smithey had two hits for PCA (10-7).

The Eagles lost a playoff berth on the runs allowed in district play tiebreaker and finished third in their district.

It’s the first time PCA will miss the playoffs since 1998.

“It’s an obscure rule and you’d rather play it out, but it is what it is,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said. “We’re going to have to learn from this. You can’t take plays and innings off.”