At its best, the Bishop Ludden baseball team is capable of taking down any Class A foe, a knowledge that could prove very powerful come playoff time.
When the Gaelic Knights went to OHSL Freedom National division leader Mexico on Monday afternoon, it rode the strong pitching of senior left-hander Ryan Poplawski to a 7-3 victory over the Tigers.
Poplawski knew what kind of assignment lay in front of him. At a tournament two days earlier, Mexico had scored 28 runs against Palmyra-Macedon and it had, in Kody O'Connor, the all-time OHSL career leader in home runs.
To counter it, Poplawski used his wide variety of pitches to baffle the potent Tiger bats. By game's end, he had 13 strikeouts, matching his best single-game total for the season.
Meanwhile, Ludden raced to a 6-0 lead by scoring in each of the first three innings off Mexico pitcher Justin Buckley. Chris Davis doubled twice, earning two RBIs, while Poplawski, John Rooney, James Braithwaite, Pat Brown and James Murray also drove in runs.
Mexico actually had more hits -- nine, to Ludden's eight. But Poplawski never allowed more than one run in any inning, getting the outs he needed to escape possible trouble.
Ludden improved to 11-5 on the season and has back-to-back home games against East Syracuse-Minoa and Fulton later this week.