Walsh Jesuit baseball cruises in five-inning Div. I regional semifinal win over Mentor
LOUISVILLE — For about 10 minutes Friday evening at Louisville High School, Mentor had a lead over the Walsh Jesuit baseball team in a Division I regional semifinal contest.
The Cardinals (20-9) scored in the top of the first inning when Walsh starting pitcher Ryan Piech walked in a run.
But despite Mentor's lead at the end of the top half of the inning, Piech settled down and the Warriors' unleashed 17 unanswered runs at the plate, cruising to a 17-1 win in five innings.
"Hats off to Mentor for the great season," Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said. "They had a good baseball team. You chalk that one up to being one of those games. We thought that we played well behind Ryan defensively, but at the end of the day our offense really was running on all cylinders today."
Walsh (27-3) scored eight runs in the second inning and seven runs in the third, sending 13 and 12 batters went to the plate, respectively, to build their lead.
When it comes to an offensive player of the game, take your pick.
Henry Kaczmar had two hits and scored two runs. Erik Stern had two hits (a double and a triple), scored twice and had three RBIs. Alejandro Covas added two hits and scored three times. Mark Serdinak drove in four runs on two hits and scored twice. Joey Canzoni got a two-out triple in the second inning to drive in three runs and bump Walsh's lead to 7-1.
"You've just got guys from top to bottom on this team that can go up there, step into the box, and put a ball in play hard to get a hit," Canzoni said. "It makes it a lot easier when you've got guys all around you that can get hits. [I] just went up there and a lot of balls hadn't been falling my way, so it was really good to go up there, get a ball in the gap and score some runs."
When it comes to his team's offensive production, Chris Kaczmar credited the mix of senior leadership and young players buying in regardless of the score.
"They are very adept at knowing that every inning is 0-0," he said. "Even the guys that came into the game there at the end were putting the bat on the ball really, really well. We were extremely pleased with our offensive output today."
Piech relinquished only one hit for the game, a single in the first inning, to go along with his one earned run. He walked four and hit three batters, but struck out four in his five innings.
A sophomore, Piech said the sarted slower than he would have liked, but he was able to work through the early rough patches.
"It happens, baseball is up and down all the time," he said. "Just gotta keep the blinders on and keep it going. ... This team can hit the ball, crush the ball from the top to the bottom of the lineup. It just helps the momentum really, and the momentum just carried throughout the game."
The Warriors will travel back to Louisville at 10 a.m. Saturday to play Mayfield (27-3) for a Division I regional title and a trip to state.