Colts pull away from Bombers
The Marian baseball team maintained its patience in the batter's box and used it to its advantage.
Palmerton allowed its inability to focus over the duration of the game get the best of it in the end.
The result was a 13-3 non-league victory for the Colts on Monday afternoon.
After five innings of play, it looked like the non-league contest might come down to the final out between the Colts and the Bombers because only two runs seperated the teams.
In the bottom of the sixth however, Marian showed that 'patience is a virtue' by producing enough runs to bring the game to a hault because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"We have been trying to tell these guys that we're not a big, powerful team this year that we have to manufacture runs," Marian manager Jeff Nietz said. "We need to take advantage of opportunities the other team gives us. I thought we did a nice job of staying patient at the plate and making them throw pitches and strikes.
"We started hitting when they had to bear down and throw strikes and that's when we started actually making things happen."
The big inning started innocently enough as Bombers' third baseman CJ Cressman took away a hit from the Colts' Frank Nietz for the first out.
After that however, the Bombers defense went South as a throwing error set between two walks loaded the bases for the Colts.
Lucas Stawick sat back on a Cody Geist offering and laced it up the middle for a two-run single to score Dylan Latham and Zack Motil. Ron Kozar followed with an RBI single to leftfield, which scored Kyle Rogers.
Anthony Pilla drew a walk to load the bases again. Nick Kweder followed with a two-run single to leftfield and then Mike Cataldo chalked up his fourth RBI on the day with a two-run single up the middle to make it 12-3.
Frank Nietz grounded into what looked to be a 4-6-3 double play, but the Bombers' shortstop dropped the ball to give the Colts another opportunity to end the game a little early. Latham walked to load the bases for the third time.
Another Bomber (0-2) throwing error allowed Motil to reach first base and brought Cataldo home with the game ender.
"I'm going to tell you right now it was a lack of focus there in the end," Smelas said. "I stressed over the years that when you come into close games the team that is mentally focused on what they're going to do is the team that is going to come out on top. Unfortunately, we lost our focus. We were playing under the same conditions as them, and I understand that it wasn't easy today, but you have to keep your concentration.
"We just need to learn that. This goes for all the guys on the team, we just have to focus more when we get to these games. We just can't let up, you've got to play seven innings."
With the win, Marian remains unbeaten at 2-0. It was the way the Colts handled opposition, yet alone the windy, cold conditions, that impressed their manager more.
"I didn't know much about these guys coming in," Nietz said. "I was just leery because last year they put one on us. We just wanted to come in and play a solid baseball game.
"Under the conditions today for both teams, it was terrible, but we were proud of our kids because of the way they hung in there, battled the elements as well as their pitchers and pulled out a nice win. It was a great team effort today by everybody."
The Colts' Cataldo (two singles, double, three runs scored, four RBIs) and Kweder (single, double, two runs scored and two RBIs) and the Bombers' Aaron Cook (single, double, RBI), Ryan Saylor (two singles, run scored, RBI) and Cressman (two singles) all finished with multiple hit games.
Palmerton 012 000 - 3 10 4
Marian 130 018 - 13 8 2
Cressman, Geist (5) and Sander; Kweder, Rogers (4) and Kozar. W - Kweder. L - Cressman.