Life isnt easy for a baseball team in the Catholic Conference. Both top-ranked Catholic Memorial and third-ranked Xaverian experienced that fact firsthand last week, as each team entered yesterday's showdown coming off a loss.
Yesterday afternoon was Xaverians turn to right the ship as it traveled to West Roxbury. The Hawks prevailed, 2-0 in what was a pitchers' duel right to the end.
The Hawks got all the offense theyd need in the first inning. The tandem of Tim Duggan and Austin DeCarr punched out nine and scattered four hits en route to shutting out one of the more potent offenses in Division 1.
Junior Chris Hoyt chopped an infield single that wouldnt quite roll foul to lead off the first inning. Derek Reddy promptly laced a single to right field that skipped by the right fielder and rolled to the wall, scoring Hoyt and leaving Reddy at third with no outs after the two-base error.
However, Knights' co-ace Matt Goreham promptly shut the door on Xaverian, not allowing a ball out of the infield to strand Reddy at third.
Both teams had their chances throughout the middle innings, but Goreham and Duggan continued to make key pitches when it counted most.
In the fifth inning the Knights used a walk, an error, and an infield single to load the bases with one out. CM then hit a fly ball to right fielder Derek Reddy that Todd McDonald tried to tag-up on.
Reddy launched a laser on the fly to catcher Gerard Florentino, who tagged McDonald out with five feet to spare.
It was easily our defensive play of the year, said Hawks coach Jerry Lambert.
CM threatened again in the sixth, loading the bases once again, this time against sophomore fire-baller DeCarr. The young right-hander, whose fastball tops out in the high 80s, recovered to strike out the side and finished off the seventh inning by fanning two more.
It not as easy spot for a sophomore to be in a Catholic Conference game, said Lambert. But he ended up striking out the side, with a few walks sprinkled in. We have a lot of confidence in the kid.
Hoyt -- 2 for 4, two runs scored -- capped off his stellar game with a monster shot over the high fence in left in the top of the seventh.
The win snapped a two-game skid for Xaverian and gave the Knights their second consecutive loss after they fell to BC High this Monday in extra innings.
Things dont get any easier for the Hawks, who face eighth-ranked BC High on Monday and No. 2 St. Johns Prep on Wednesday.