Louisville Leopards at Canton Central Crusaders Baseball 2012 Highlights
Louisville 6, Central Catholic 4
Mike Kelly drove in 3 runs and Kyle White also drove in 2 more to help lead the Louisville Leopards over the Division III #5 ranked Canton Central Catholic Crusaders 6-4 Monday evening. Riley Groves also moved to 8-0 on the mound in picking up the win and Dillon Stertzbach earned his first save of the season to move the Leopards to 16-6 on the year.
The Crusaders put the Leopards in a hole early as they tallied three runs in the bottom of the second. Stephen Montgomery provided a sacrifice fly to center that scored Shawn Jones for Central’s first run. Then Jake Krupar slashed a 2-run double to right field that scored both Gunner Smeyets and Tim Valentine to put the parochial Canton squad up 3-0.
The Leopards erased part of the deficit in the next half inning with a pair of runs. The first pitch of the third inning hit Alex Hollifield which gave him a free pass to first. Then White grounded to short, but the throw to get the speedy Hollifield at second was high allowing both runners to reach their intended base. Next, Connor Ruffier walked on four pitches to load the bases. Finally, Kelly smacked a 2-run single to left field to get the Leps on the board via Hollifield and White crossing the plate.
Louisville picked up right where they left off in the fourth inning. Groves singled to right, Jordan Hughes walked, and Hollifield laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases. Hollifield awkwardly bunted, perhaps in an attempt to pull the bunt back, down the third base line and the ball rolled slowly before coming to a stop right on the chalk line. This allowed him to make it to first without contest.
With the ducks on the pond, White delivered a ground ball single to center that tagged off the glove of the second baseman charging to his right. Groves and Hughes both came home on the play to give Louisville the lead. Then they extended their advantage to 5-3 when Kelly grounded to short two batters later. Central elected to throw home for the tag rather than throw to first for the second out. The throw was online, but the catcher dropped the ball on the exchange as Hollifield slid between his legs for the score.
The Crusaders got one run back in the bottom of the fourth as they started their rally with a Brad Frohman lead-off double. Three batters later, Valentine delivered a 2 out single to right that scored Frohman and cut the Central deficit to 5-4.
The Leopards got an insurance run in their final at-bat in the seventh to put them up 6-4. The lightning fast Ruffier reached base via a bobbled grounder. He then advanced to second on a Kelly groundout and to third on a passed ball. Jon Crank then crushed a pitch to center field that was caught just in front of Central’s 2008 and 2011 State Championship banners. Ruffier advanced home easily on the sac fly.
Groves pitched 6 innings, gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, and struck out 2 before giving way to Stertzbach. The former Crusader picked up his first save of the season thanks to two strikeouts, a tapper back to the mound for an out, and a Crank to Kelly groundout to end the game. Montgomery was the only Crusader to reach base in the inning after a dropped third strike.
The Leopards knocked off the Defending DIII State Champion Crusaders for a sweet road victory to close regular season non-conference play. They will now look to top that feat by playing for an NBC Title in a 2-game series with Marlington on Tuesday and Wednesday. Furthermore, Friday they will face Fairless for a chance to win their seventh straight Sectional crown.
Central Catholic 030-100-0–4-7-2
Louisville Leopards Varsity Batting
Louisville Leopards Varsity Pitching
Central Catholic Varsity Batting
Central Catholic Varsity Pitching
Records: Louisville 16-6, Central Catholic 20-6
NEXT UP: The Leps will next host the Marlington Dukes on Tuesday, May 7 at 4:30 PM. This will be the final home game of the regular season and also Senior Night. JV will travel to Marlington during the same time.
Central Catholic 19, Louisville 4, 5 innings
The Crusaders used a 7-run inning to take a 14-3 lead at the end of three before adding on more runs and defeating the JV Leps 19-4 in five innings. Riley Graybel and Connor Zwick each had two hits for Louisville. Zwick, Alan Nelson, and Joe Crank provided the RBI’s for the 11-7 Leopards.
JV Box Score
Central Catholic 111-01–4-8-2
Central Catholic JV Batting
Central Catholic JV Pitching
Louisville Leopards JV Batting
Louisville Leopards JV Pitching
Records: Louisville 11-7