Spring sports are nearing the midpoint of the season, and with just over a month to go, the Central Park Hills Varsity Baseball team seems to be finding its stride. Coming into the week with a two-game win streak, most recently dominating Cape Notre Dame 18-2, the Rebels had all the momentum, and the boys kept it rolling with three more wins.
In the first game of the week, the Rebels traveled to North County to challenge the Raiders. This game was scoreless through three, until a couple of timely walks led to a sacrifice fly by Brendon Jenkins that drove in the first run. North County answered back with one in the bottom of the inning, but then more Raider walks loaded the bases in the fifth, allowing a ground ball out to plate the Rebel’s second run.
Then in the top of the seventh, Ty Schweiss laid down a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Casen Murphy drove him home with a single and would later score on a passed ball giving Central the 4-1 win.
Costly errors and walks helped out Central in this one. Doing the most damage for the Rebels, however, was Schweiss who had two hits and a walk, while Murphy also had two hits and an RBI. Michael Vance added the only other hit.
Nathan Hamski picked up the win, pitching four innings, giving up one earned run, and striking out six. Jenkins hurled the fifth and sixth, striking out five Raiders, before Murphy took over in the seventh, and struck out the side.
The next was a home game on Thursday, April 14th, when Potosi came to town. This was a pitching duel through five innings as neither team could seem to find a way to score. However, the Trojans did themselves in when they opened the bottom of the fifth with an error, which allowed Kendall Horton to reach base. This opened the flood gates.
The Rebels’ bats came to life with a slew of singles, including a hot shot off the bat of Murphy that drove in two. Jaxon Jones drove him in with another single, followed by a stolen base and a Dylan Holifield single, and before the Trojans could blink, the Rebels had a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the errors continued to hurt Potosi as a dropped third strike allowed Schweiss to reach. He would steal a bag and advance to third on a fielder’s choice before being driven in on a big triple by Murphy. Jett Bridges knocked him home providing the final run needed to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.
The balls were jumping off the Rebel bats making it a tough outing for Potosi. Murphy had a monster game with three hits and three RBIs, while Schweiss was just behind him with two and two. Jones also had a two-hit game, with one RBI.
Unknowingly, Potosi’s fate was sealed when Murphy toed the slab in the first inning. He went the distance and pitched a beautiful four-hit shutout, which included eight strikeouts.
With Central Now riding a three-game win-streak, Perryville was about to be swimming in dangerous waters. However, Perryville managed to notch the first run of the game in the top of the first, but that would be the last glimmer of offense from the Pirates.
Central manufactured a run in the bottom of the second, from a walk, ground out and a sacrifice fly. The Pirates played tough but in the bottom of the fourth, after a single and a passed ball moved Bridges into scoring position, Jones drove him in. Then, Sammy Callaway smoked a double to the gap which scored Bridges making it a 3-1 game.
In the fifth, another Pirate error and a walk, followed by another error, set up the hot-hitting Murphy, who crushed a triple, giving his team a 5-1 lead. Another walk, a hit by pitch, and a final error allowed Murphy to score, as Central went on to win 6-1.
While the walks and errors put Perryville behind the eight-ball, the Rebel bats did enough to capitalize. Callaway had one hit and three RBIs, while Murhpy had one and one.
Excellent pitching carried the team in this one. Jenkins earned the W for his side, pitching five and striking out 10. Horton shut it down from the bullpen coming in to toss the final two while striking out five.
Now undefeated in April, and with the heart of the season staring them in the face, Central must prepare for four key games next week, starting on Tuesday, April 19th, against Farmington. The Rebels are rolling, and now have a winning record at 6-3, but many big-hitting opponents are just around the corner. If the bats can stay lively, and the pitching stays sharp, this team can continue to add wins to the streak.