Flashes finish spring break with a victory

Published 12:30 am Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Aloysius' Pat Murphy makes contact Saturday against Greenville-St. Joe at Bazinsky Field. (Justin Sellers/ Vicksburg Post)

St. Aloysius’ Pat Murphy makes contact Saturday against Greenville-St. Joe at Bazinsky Field. (Justin Sellers/ Vicksburg Post)

St. Aloysius finally ended its spring break slide. How it did it left something to be desired.

The Flashes missed a couple of scoring opportunities early on, then broke through for three runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth to beat Greenville-St. Joseph 6-2 Saturday at Bazinsky Field.

The victory halted the Flashes’ three-game losing streak, but coach Derrik Boland said there’s still work to be done in the 10 days leading up to the division opener against Bogue Chitto.

St. Al loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning but didn’t score, then had a runner thrown out in a rundown between third and home in the second inning. It also committed two errors that led to a pair of runs.

“We just didn’t do a great job making timely adjustments at the plate. That’s been our downfall. We can’t just get up there and do the same thing every at-bat,” Boland said. “I’m glad we got the win, but there were things I wasn’t satisfied with.”

Connor Smith drove in three runs for the Flashes (3-5), Derek Dolan tripled and scored a run, and Matthew Foley had an RBI single.

Sophomore right-hander Josh Brown pitched a complete game, allowing two unearned runs on four hits. He walked two batters and struck out six.

“The fastball felt real good. I was hitting my spots and staying low in the zone like he told me to,” Brown said. “I feel like I was in a good rhythm. I was getting in that good stage where my fastball was working for me.”

St. Al only had three hits in the game, but took full advantage of a laundry list of mistakes by Greenville-St. Joe (0-4). Irish pitchers Trevor Muzzi and Clayton Hardwick combined to walk six batters and hit two. Their defense committed five errors that led to five unearned runs for the Flashes.

Wade Chustz gave St. Joe a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the second inning, but it didn’t last.

Two walks, two passed balls and an errant throw on a grounder by Smith brought in St. Al’s first two runs in the fourth inning. Smith was balked to second and scored on Foley’s single to make it 3-1.

In the fifth, Dolan tripled to the gap in right center field and Jacob Breeden reached on a dropped pop up. Both players scored on Smith’s two-run single to left, then Smith eventually came around to make it 6-1 with the help of two wild pitches.

Dolan, Breeden and Smith, St. Al’s Nos. 7-9 hitters, reached base on eight of their 11 plate appearances. They had two of St. Al’s three hits, scored five runs — No. 6 hitter George Tzotzolas scored the other — and had three RBIs.

“The bottom of the lineup helped us out big time. Seven, eight and nine came through today. When you get it out of the bottom of the lineup, that helps a lot,” Boland said. “That’s what we’re waiting on now, is for the bats to heat up. We’ve still got some stuff to work on. We’ve got one more week until district starts. We’re going to work on it every day this week until we get it right.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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