May 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Bishop Grimes baseball team poked across a run in the bottom of the first inning of Friday’s OHSL Patriot division first-place showdown with Pulaski, Cobras head coach Mark Kelley said he figured more runs were needed if his side was to stay undefeated in 2014.
But as it turned out, one run was enough.
Chris Schad, shaky at the start but dominant at the finish, threw a two-hit shutout, and needed to be that good to claim a tense 1-0 duel with the Blue Devils’ pitching ace, Cody Mosher.
“This win gives us confidence, and a lot of momentum for the rest of the season,” said Schad.
Kelley said that Schad’s effort, coming on the heels of a 2-1 win over Fabius-Pompey on May 3, was the best performance of his high school career.
It also gave Grimes a bit of payback. A season ago, the Cobras beat Pulaski twice in the regular season, but the Blue Devils won the game that mattered, 13-4, in the Section III Class C-1 playoffs – and Mosher was the winning pitcher.
Now Mosher was back, and Grimes, no. 4 in the state Class C rankings, wanted to get to him early. In the bottom of the first inning, Joe Arrigo led off with a single, stole second, and after an infield hit Wyatt Myers singled home Arrigo.
And that was the extent of the Cobras’ run production. Mosher didn’t just settle down, he proceeded to retire 12 consecutive batters, not surrendering a hit until Tom Steinberg singled in the bottom of the sixth, promptly followed by a double play that ended the threat.
Mosher’s complete-game, three-hit effort (he struck out six) meant that Schad had to be in top form, and he was.
Schad cruised until the top of the fourth, when Pulaski threatened to surge in front. A hit batsman, a walk and a fisted ground ball loaded the bases with nobody out, and Schad said his goal was to strike out the next batter, and work from there.
Instead, he managed to coax a 1-2-3 double play, and then a strikeout, Schad’s fifth of the game, helped the Cobras maintain its one-run lead. Then the Blue Devils put two runners on base in the fifth thanks to a pair of fielding mistakes, but again Schad escaped, with two force plays and another strikeout.
“Chris is a gamer,” said Kelley. “He’s faced some adversity, and when that happens, I expect him to bounce back.”
The rest proved easier, as Schad worked around a Pulaski hit in the sixth and then struck out the side in the seventh to give him 11 K’s for the afternoon and end the quick one hour, 20-minute contest.
Great as this win felt, the Cobras will have to face the Blue Devils again next Wednesday, at Pulaski, and of course there could be another playoff encounter.