DOWNINGTOWN >> Bishop Shanahan baseball coach Brian Boyko always tells his team to pitch well, play good defense and then steal a couple of runs.
Friday afternoon, the host Eagles did just that.
Shanahan got a superlative pitching performance from senior Austin O’Dell, who limited Coatesville to just three hits while striking out 11, and the Eagles took advantage of some shoddy Coatesville fielding to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning off hard-luck loser Derek Seagreaves, who took a no hitter into the sixth, for a gritty 2-0, Ches-Mont National Division win.
“I struggled a little early in the year to throw strikes,” O’Dell said. “But, I made some adjustments and I trust in my team have to play good defense and I knew we would get a couple runs today. I always have faith that my team will score runs and we got two in the sixth inning and that gave me a big boost. Coach Boyko always tells us we have to pitch and play defense first and that is how it worked out today.”
Coatesville (2-11) had its chances early in the contest against O’Dell as the Red Raiders left men on second base in each of the first three innings with leadoff man Anthony Boccio garnering two hits in the first three innings. But, that was it. Coatesville went down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and had a two-out walk in the seventh before O’Dell struck out Tyler Camille to end the game.
“It has been the same thing all season,” Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. “We just cannot get the big hit when we need it. We played two facets of the game today and you can’t just do that. And it was a shame to waste Derek Seagreaves’ pitching. He is only a sophomore and he has a lot of upside and we saw that today. He was mixing his pitches and hitting all the locations (assistant coach) Lance (Ziegler) set down for him. We let him down.”
Seagreaves was blowing through the Bishop Shanahan (5-5) lineup, not allowing a hit in the first five innings. But, the sixth inning would be a different story and the Red Raider infield really let down its pitcher.
David Angelo led off the bottom of the sixth and hit a sharp grounder to Coatesville shortstop Boccio. Boccio fielded the ball cleanly but his throw to first was off line and Angelo was on with nobody out. Matt Samson attempted to lay down a bunt, but popped the ball up in foul ground and Coatesville catcher Trey Tobinus made a great leaping grab for the first out.
Dan DiBeneditto hit a grounder up the middle that Boccio fielded, but threw wildly past first to the fence. First baseman Ryan Weaver then attempted to nail DiBeneditto going to second base, but his throw went into center field and Angelo came all the way around to score and put Bishop Shanahan up 1-0. Kevin Dodds then hit Seagreaves hard as he lofted a long RBI double to the left field fence, scoring DiBeneditto to make it a 2-0 Eagles advantage. The Eagles scored two runs on two hits and three Coatesville errors.
“Derek pitched great for them today,” Boyko said. “We were not hitting so I told the team if the lead off man gets on we are bunting, but we didn’t execute, although it put pressure on the defense. But, we really could not get anything going because we weren’t getting anybody on base.
“We were fortunate to have Austin pitching a great game today. He struggled with his control early in the year but he worked on some things himself and got things straightened out. he served all the good things that happened in his last two starts because he has worked so hard.”