In need of some timely hitting to start the second game of Friday’s doubleheader against rival Cascade Christian, the St. Mary’s offense did just what the doctor ordered.
The Crusaders scored early, scored often and went on from there.
Behind Grant Russo’s big game at the plate, St. Mary’s was able to build a big early lead and claim a 9-5 win over Cascade Christian after the Challengers had recorded a 10-4 win in Game 1.
Russo had four RBIs in Game 2 and 5 RBIs on the day to lead the Crusaders (4-5), who won the season series against the Challengers with their Game 2 victory.
Russo’s two-run single in the first inning gave St. Mary’s a 2-0 lead. The Crusaders then broke things open in the fourth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Beau Aldrich after three straight walks to load the bases and then another two-run single off the bat of Russo.
Travis Johnson also had a pair of RBIs for the Crusaders in Game 2.
Eli Haynes picked up the win in the nightcap, throwing four solid innings for St. Mary’s.
Cascade Christian’s Cody Reece had a pair of hits and an RBI in Game 2. Cole Stofflet and Ashton Moody also drove in a run, while Keith Reed had a pair of hits for the Challengers (4-5).
In Game 1, Cascade Christian got solid pitching from Reece, who struck out five and worked into the sixth inning.
Moody gave the Challengers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-run double. St. Mary’s tied it two innings later on Johnson’s RBI single and an Ean Lawrence sac fly.
Cascade went back in front in the top of the fourth on Sam Martin’s RBI single. Before the inning was over, Dillon Moody and Reed both scored on passed balls to put the Challengers up 5-2. Dillon Moody — who had two hits in the opener — added a two-run double an inning later.
Lawrence finished with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in Game 1.
Reece, Martin (6) and Thompson; Aldrich, Russo (5) and Lawrence. W — Reece. L — Alrich. 2B — CC: A. Moody, D. Moody, Stofflet; SM: Haynes, Lawrence 2, Shunk. .
Waits, Federico (2), Thompson (4), Martin (5) and Thompson, Stofflet (4), Thompson (5); Haynes, Johnson (5) and Aldrich. W — Haynes. L — Waits. 2B — CC: Waits, Reed, Stofflet; SM: Gomez.
By Mail Tribune Staff