Baseball and Memorial Day have a long tradition of going hand in hand.
Monday's annual St. Edmond Invitational at Patterson Field served as yet another example.
Keeping their perfect season intact, the fourth-ranked (Class 2A) Gaels (6-0 overall) claimed their own tournament title for a fourth straight year with a pair of victories.
—Messenger photo by Dale Wooten
David Flattery slides in just ahead of the tag after a wild pitch during the championship game against West Marshall on Monday afternoon at Patterson Field. For more photos, visit CU at messengernews.net
SEHS downed Garner-Hayfield by a 12-0 five-inning count in its opener and prevailed over West Marshall in the championship game, 7-3.
"I see some of our guys swinging the bats pretty well right now," SEHS head coach Joe Shanks said. "We have to make sure we continue that same level of play now in the (North Central Conference)."
In the first contest, the Gaels erupted for nine runs in the bottom of the first inning alone, sending 14 batters to the plate and taking full advantage of six walks, four hits and two hit-by-pitches. The green and white then tacked on two insurance scores in the second and one more in the third to seal the deal.
ST. EDMOND 12, GARNER-HAYFIELD 0 (5)
Garner-Hayfield 000 00-0 1 3
St. Edmond 921 0x-12 6 0
Zach Buseman (L, 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 1 K), Nick Roberts (0 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 0 K), Derek Lonneman (3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K) and Nathan Hrubes, Taylor Hubbard (3); Hank Crimmins (W, 1-0; 5 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 9 K) and Brady Reiling.
SB-SE: Nate Kolacia, Nick Clark. LOB-G-H 3, SE 6.
ST. EDMOND 7, WEST MARSHALL 3
St. Edmond 000 040 3-7 7 2
West Marshall 201 000 0-3 5 1
Kolacia (3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K), Neil Flattery (W, 2-0; 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 9 K) and Matthew Bocken; Braydn Beals (L, 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 BB, 7 K), Jacob Pszanka (2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K) and Alex Billman.
2B-SE: Tommy Setterdahl, Clark, Aaron Chalstrom; WM: Pszanka, Jared Riemenschneider. HR-SE: David Flattery. SB-SE: Neil Flattery, Landon Peed; WM: Beals, Justin Weitzell. CS-SE: Cal Coleman; WM: Riemenschneider. LOB-SE 9, WM 4.
"We talked about how tough it can be to stay focused when other teams are inconsistent throwing strikes," Shanks said. "Give credit to our guys for being patient, but we obviously want to hit the ball, because that's when the game is fun."
David Flattery, a junior, propelled the Gael offensive charge with three RBI, while senior Nate Kolacia and sophomore Hank Crimmins each drove in two. Kolacia, seniors Neil Flattery and Nick Clark and freshmen Landon Peed and Matthew Bocken all crossed the dish twice as well for the home squad.
Backed by plenty of support, Crimmins (1-0) went the distance in his first career varsity outing on the mound. Crimmins, a right-hander, yielded only one hit with three walks and nine strikeouts.
Braden Meints managed a leadoff single in the second inning for the Cardinals (1-3), who upended Newell-Fonda in a 15-10 slugfest in the consolation matchup.
Despite falling behind by three early runs and going hitless through the first four frames of the nightcap, the Gaels finally broke through with four two-out tallies in the fifth. Junior Tommy Setterdahl (double), Clark (double) and Bocken (single) all delivered RBI hits during that key stretch, while David Flattery came home on a wild pitch.
"We had some chances early in the game (SEHS had the bases loaded with one out in the first inning and failed to score) and just let them off the hook," said Shanks. "Once we got our timing down, though, we were able get a few big hits and really made (West Marshall ace southpaw Braydn Beals) work to build up his pitch count."
Picking up the win in relief for the Gaels was Neil Flattery (2-0), who surrendered two harmless hits in four innings. Neil walked one and fanned nine. He also made a highlight-reel diving catch as a center fielder in the third.
"Neil came in and really did a great job of throwing strikes against a team that can swing the bats pretty well," Shanks said.
Clark and Bocken each went 2-for-4. Clark and David Flattery both scored twice, while Bocken drove in two. David Flattery added a towering blast over the left field fence to start the seventh inning.
Jacob Pszanka produced a double and two runs for the Trojans (3-1), who notched an 11-1 triumph over Newell-Fonda in their opener.
Through six games this season, St. Edmond has now outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 67-7.
Next up for the Gaels is a NCC showdown this evening at 10th-ranked (1A) Bishop Garrigan (4-2).
Contact Josh Meyer at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com