An old-fashioned pitching duel took place yesterday in a City League baseball playoff semifinal game that saw St. Francis de Sales knock off Central Catholic 3-1 at Scott Park.
The Knights will battle Whitmer tomorrow at noon in the championship game. The Panthers got by Start 15-12 Wednesday to advance.
"I've been proud of these guys a lot this year, because we've won a lot of different ways," St. Francis coach Don Kober said. "A lot of games we used two, three or four pitchers. It's a true team effort.''
The game tightened up in the top of the seventh with St. Francis (21-5) holding a 3-0 advantage.
Matt Tober led off for Central Catholic (12-12) with a double, and was replaced by pinch-runner Matt Brock.
Cody Murnan came to the plate as a pinch-hitter and walked, then D.J. Molnar ripped a line drive to St. Francis shortstop Jake Peters, who nearly turned it into a double play.
"He [Peters] made a fantastic play," said Kober. "There is no doubt that that was the play of the game. Who knows what would have happened if that ball would have gone to the gap."
Brodie Wagener grounded out and then Nick Boyle reached on an infield single, scoring Brock.
With two outs and the potential tying runs on base, Korey Stubleski lined out to the pitcher to end the game.
St. Francis starter Brian Martin pitched just three innings, but didn't allow a hit. Alex Majewski and Matt Bell went the rest of the way, giving up one run and three hits combined.
Majewski notched the win, while Bell earned the save.
"Our pitching has been outstanding all year long," said Kober. "No matter who's out there, no matter how long they go they just give us their best effort."
The Knights scored first when Jordan Knowles came home on a wild pitch by Brad Hays in the fourth inning.
Knowles also jump-started the fifth inning when he walked and stole second and third before Joel Castellanos came through with a two-out RBI single.
In the sixth inning, Peters doubled and catcher Aaron Dudley knocked him in with a single.
Hays pitched 41/3 innings and allowed just one run on one hit with six strikeouts.
Peters paced the Knights' offense with two hits. Boyle had a single, a double and an RBI for the Irish.
"Its gonna be a battle," Kober said of playing Whitmer in the title game. "They had a wild game to get there, so they are probably pumped."