"It's a good sign for us," Fenwick coach Russ Steeves said. "Saturday we were down five in the first inning and came back to win 12-7. It's a great sign when we are able to come back. I'm proud of these guys."
After failing to manage a hit for three straight innings the Crusaders rallied in the 11th trailing by one. Sophomore Scott Emerson (1-for-3 with two walks, a HBP and one RBI) came up clutch with a two-out RBI single to give Fenwick its first Central Catholic League win of the year. Cory Bright (3-for-6 one RBI) and Keegan O'Connor (2-for-3 with two walks, a HBP, one RBI and two runs scored) also had great days at the plate.
The Crusaders went into the weekend with three different injuries hampering their pitching staff. Fenwcik was just looking to survive with games against Georgetown and Williams, let alone win both.
"Our first game this season we went 10 innings and lost," Steeves said. "Then we have a crazy game yesterday in Georgetown and 11 innings Sunday. Three of our pitchers are hurt. Our one, two and three pitchers are hurt. We're just leaning on a lot of different people right now. We're just trying to survive."
But center fielder Trey Deloury stepped up on the mound. The senior captain threw three innings Saturday in a 12-7 win over Georgetown and, after coming in for relief in the seventh inning, threw five innings Sunday, allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks (one intentional) while striking out two. Deloury earned wins in both appearances.
"I had nobody left today," Steeves said. "And Trey threw three innings yesterday and got the win. He's got two wins in two days in a row. And he's not even a pitcher he's a center fielder. He didn't pitch for us last year. He has two wins in two days. Just an incredible effort."
It didn't take long for Williams to jump out to an early lead. The Bishops combined for five hits in the first three innings and capitalized on a pair of infield errors to take a 5-0 lead.
Angelo McCullough (1-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored) added the Crusaders first run in the third inning, reaching on a walk and stealing both second and third base before scoring on a passed ball to cut the Bishops lead to 5-1. But the Fenwick bats were quiet to start the game.
The Crusaders finally got a rally going in the fifth inning. An infield error and a single by O'Connor put runners on for Deloury (1-for-6 with two RBI and one run scored) who laced a two-run double to left field. After a pitching change Bright brought Deloury home with a RBI-single to cut the Bishops' lead to 5-4.
Emerson reached base after being hit by a pitch to start the sixth inning for Fenwick. The sophomore showed smart base running, reaching third on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Miano and scoring on a passed ball to tie the game at 6-6.
The Crusaders kept swinging the bats later in the inning with McCullough reaching on a single and O'Connor bringing him home on a RBI-double to put Fenwick ahead by one. But the Bishops hung in there, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly and pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh to send the game to extras.
It took both teams two more innings to get the offense started again. The Bishops added a run in their half of the 11th before Fenwick's game-winning rally. O'Connor started the inning with a walk and stole second a few batters later. With Fenwick down to its last out, Murphy waited on a curveball and laced a RBI-single to tie the game and Emerson added his first hit of the game at a perfect time for the win.
For Steeves and the Crusaders the dramatic win means even more coming against a CCL rival.
"This league is brutal," Steeves said. "I love it. Williams was state champion in Division 4 last year, Austin Prep won Division 3. You want every game to be like this. This division is just awesome. I love it and I don't think we get enough credit. Day in day out we have to grind for wins."
The Crusaders will get some much needed rest before hosting CCL rival Austin Prep Saturday (2).