DOWNINGTOWN - Some wins come easy and some wins mean just a little bit more because a team had to dig down and battle back to win. Monday afternoon's 6-5 win for the Bishop Shanahan High School baseball team over Oxford should mean a whole lot to the Eagles.
Oxford (3-8 Ches-Mont, 3-8 overall) came into the game having not scored a run in its last two contests, but the hungry Hornets laced eight hits and took a 3-0 lead into the top of third inning off Eagles (6-4, 6-4) starter Fran Chubb. But, the Eagles came back and back and hung on as the Hornets had the tying run at third base in the top of the seventh inning for the hard-fought win after a four-run Shanahan outburst in the bottom of the sixth.
"We have to learn to put seven innings together and the kids are starting to learn that,' Bishop Shanahan coach Brian Boyko said. "And today, Oxford came in and hit the baseball and their pitcher did a great job. But, the kids battled back and fought and you have to do that in baseball, especially in this league because it is so good.
"And Frank battled today, he did not have his best stuff and he was up in the zone but he came through and gave us a complete game.'
Oxford scored a run in the second inning when Clay Moran tagged up at second base after a great grab by center fielder Jeff Zebrowski, to haul in a Jake Leonhard laser. Moran scored from second on the sacrifice fly and the Hornets were up 1-0. The Hornets increased their lead to 3-0 after the top of third when Ryan Swearer roped an RBI triple to plate one run and Kyle Price knocked in another run with a sacrifice fly.
Shanahan came back to score two runs in the bottom of the third on a Riley O'Day sacrifice fly and a hard hit RBI singled from Connor Kerns. Both pitchers seemed to settle in after that, with Oxford freshman starter, Noaln Benke, putting the Eagles down and when Oxford plated a single run in the top of the sixth to make it 4-2, it looked like the Hornets were going to spring the upset. Oxford would have had another run but the umpires declared that a Hornet runner had not touched third base on his way home so Oxford had a two run lead at 4-2.
"We really hit the ball today and the kids did a good job,' Oxford coach Andy Wendle said. "The play at third base is just a mistake by a kid trying to make a play. He will learn from that.'
With Benke sailing along, allowing Shanahan just five hits going into the sixth, it looked like the freshman was going to get the victory. But, here came the Eagles once again.
Kerns led off the inning with a walk. Up came Corey Kern who unloaded a RBI triple to left center to pull the Eagles to within one run at 4-3. Ryan McCole smacked a RBI single to left, scoring Kern and the game was tied at 4-4 and you could see Benke starting to tire. McCole stole second base and went to third on a fly ball by Marc Gueriera.
Up came Ben McDonald with the game tied and all McDonald did was smack an 0-2 fastball to left field, scoring McCole and giving Shanahan a 5-4 lead.
"We were coming off a win and we started the game a little flat,' McDonald said. "But we battled back and I was just trying to get the bat on the ball being down 0-2. We needed this win.'
Jeff Zebrowski then seemed to put the game away for the Eagles as he unloaded a long RBI triple to center field, scoring McDonald with the Eagles sixth run and a 6-4 advantage.
"We did start the game slow but we all picked each other up,' Zebrowski said. "But, we are starting to put seven inning together and I believe this team can do that.'
With Benke gone after a walk to Dan Terra, in came Paul Tomalott, who stopped the carnage by getting O'Day to pop out to second base and Oxford was down two runs going to the seventh.
The Hornets did not go quietly however as with one out, Eric Silvestri lined a single off Chubb. Swearet then roped an RBI double, his third hit of the game to make it a 6-5, and you could feel the tension rising on the Shanahan bench. But Chubb got Kyle Price to ground out to second base for the second out and Ethan Herb to ground out to end the game and the Eagles soared to 6-4 on the season.
"Oxford came in today and really hit the ball well,' Boyko said. "You respect everybody you play and you fight for seven innings and that is what we did today.'
Bishop Shanahan 6
OXFORD ab r h bi SHANAHAN ab r h bi
Silvestri 2b 3 2 2 0 Zebrowski cf 4 1 2 1
Swearer cf 4 0 3 2 Chubb p 0 0 0 0
Price ss 3 0 1 1 Terra dh 2 1 0 0
Herb lf 4 1 1 0 O'Day 3b 3 0 1 1
Moran cf 2 1 0 0 Kerns ss 2 1 1 1
Winters c 2 1 0 0 Kern c 3 0 2 1
Williams pr 0 0 0 0 Lord pr 0 1 0 0
Benke p 0 0 0 0 McCole 1b 3 1 1 1
Leonhard dh 2 1 1 0 Gueriera 2b 2 0 0 1
Tomalott p 0 0 0 0 Roselli lf 3 0 1 0
Green 1b 2 0 0 0 McDonald rf 3 1 1 1
Bentz rf 2 0 0 0
Boggs ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 25 5 8 4 Totals 25 6 9 7
Oxford 012 001 1-5
Bishop Shanahan 002 004-x-6
2B-Price, Swearer, Kern, Roselli. 3B-Zebrowski, Kern, Swearer.
Oxford IP R H BB SO
Benke, L 5.2 6 9 2 2
Tomalott .1 0 0 0 0
Chubb, W 7 5 8 2 4