DOWNINGTOWN>> The West Chester East baseball team rode a stellar starting pitching performance from senior Matt Holgado to a come from behind 5-1 Ches-Mont National Division win over host Bishop Shanahan Wednesday afternoon.
Holgado went six strong innings allowing just two Eagles hits and striking out 11 batters before leaving after six innings and 91 pitches.
For a while it looked like the West Chester East (2-0 Ches-Mont, 2-0 overall) offense was not going to break through against Eagles (0-2, 0-3) sophomore starter, Jake Scott.
The Vikings left nine men on base in the first five innings as Scott danced in and out of trouble for the first five innings. But a three run top of the sixth inning put the Vikings ahead to stay.
“I try to not worry about things like us leaving men on base,” Holgado said “I know my offense is very good and it was a matter of time before we cashed in. We have a lot of talented guys on this team. and today I was able to throw my slider for strikes and it was working well and I was getting ahead of the hitters.”
Bishop Shanahan plated the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Eric MacLewin led off the inning with the Eagles first hit of the game, a single to right field.
MacLewin stole second base and came around to score on an infield throwing error by the Vikings and the Eagles had a 1-0 lead after four innings.
But the Vikings and coach Corey Webb went to the bench in the top the sixth inning to mount a comeback against Scott. Impressive freshman Ryan Rozzi led off with a single, his third hit of the game.
After Scott struck out Dante Wright, Webb sent up pinch hitter Carlos Jara, who ripped a Scott fastball for an RBI double to make it a 1-1 game.
That was all for Scott as Eagles coach Brian Boyko brought in Griffin Tarabeli to pitch. Scott left throwing 93 pitches for the game.
Connor Ferguson greeted the Eagles reliever with a single to center field. Then Webb went to his bench again and brought up another pinch hitter in Cody Heyduk, who ripped a two run double to left center field and suddenly the Vikings were up 3-1.
“We have a lot of talented guys win this club,” Webb said. “And we can bring guys off the bench that wild the job. And having Matt out there is always a big plus for us. He worked his tail off in the off season and he has his routine and today his slider was great. It is great to have him on our side.”
After the Eagles went down in the bottom of the sixth inning the Vikings went back to work in the top of the seventh inning. West Chester East scored two more runs on two hits and stretched their lead to 5-1, going to the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Eagles did not go away quietly against Vikings reliever John Uebele. After Uebele retired the first two Eagles in the inning, Jack O’Day and Logan Kapcynski walked to put men on first and second with two out.
But Uebele struck out the dangerous Andrew Noone and West Chester East remained undefeated in the early season while Bishop Shanahan was still winless on the young season.
“I saw a lot of good things from Jake Scott today,” Bishop Shanahan coach Brian Book said. “He is only a sophomore and i knew he has good stuff and today he was not at his best but he battled and battled and kept them off the board for five innings.
“But we have seen good pitching so far this season and our approach has been good until today. We have to put more balls in play. We struck out 12 times today and that is not going to get it done.”
WC East 5, Bishop Shanahan 1
WC East 000 003 2-5
Bishop Shanahan 000 100 0-1
2B-Heyduk, Rostock, Jara, Nonos.