St. John's Jesuit pitcher Tim Corbey did not have his best stuff yesterday, and the Titans failed to fully capitalize on their offensive opportunities. But their efforts were good enough for a 6-3 City League baseball victory over visiting rival St. Francis de Sales.
The win by the Titans (8-6, 4-1) over the Knights (15-4, 5-1) created a virtual four-way tie for first place. Start and Clay also each has one league loss.
Corbey (4-1) allowed six hits over six-plus innings, but hit three St. Francis batters and walked one in his turbulent 118-pitch, 66-strike effort.
"I was having trouble throwing strikes," Corbey said. "I had a hard time getting the inside corner, but I was battling and doing whatever it took to help my team get the win."
Corbey's teammates staked him to a 4-0 lead with eight hits through two innings off of Alex Majewski (3-3), who yielded 13 hits over his six-plus innings.
Val Helldobler, Ben Kauder and Ross Hartwig - the 1-2-3 hitters in St. John's lineup - had two hits apiece in the first two innings as the Titans plated three runs in the first and another in the second. DH Justin Leahy delivered a clutch two-run single to left-center in the first.
"Getting off to a quick start was very important," Titans coach Ed Mouch said. "I felt it would give our guys some confidence to go out and play with [St. Francis] because they are very good."
The Knights got all of their runs in the third inning. Corbey started by hitting Clay Daney with a pitch, Brian Bilius doubled to center, and Johnny Kontak drove in one run with a single to center. Brett Howard plated Bilius and Kontak with a single.
St. John's stranded 10 runners.
"It was important getting that start because, playing in a big game, you always want to get out ahead early and give your pitcher confidence," said Hartwig, who added a triple in the fourth. "We left a lot of guys on base, but I knew if we just kept hitting the ball [the runs] would come."
St. John's added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and Kauder picked up a save when he relieved Corbey with two runners aboard and retired the final three batters.
"This has got to be a 21-out game and it was about a 25 or 26-out game today," said Knights skipper Don Kober (651-249) who coached his 900th career game. "You give them extra chances and ultimately they're going to take advantage of it."
ARBINGER "SNEAKS'' PAST 700: Start coach Rich Arbinger, who prefers to keep a low profile on accomplishments, managed to slip his 700th career win past even his players and coaches.
The milestone victory came Monday in the Spartans' 18-1 win over Rogers. There was no postgame celebration.
"I didn't even tell anybody," said Arbinger, who added win No. 701 Tuesday, over Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, and No. 702 yesterday, 10-0 over Scott. "It's not that big of a thing to me right now. I'm in the middle of a season. When I'm retired maybe I can stop and think about these things."
Arbinger, 702-189 in his 31st season, is the fourth baseball coach in Ohio prep history to reach 700 wins, joining retired skippers Tim Engleka (760-307-5; 1964-2002) at Centerville and Lou Brunswick (750-166; 1969-1993) at Coldwater. Cincinnati Moeller's Mike Cameron, still active, is 717-292 in his 37th year.
"That's humbling," Arbinger said. "I know all three of those coaches personally, and they're pretty much legends."
Arbinger, 56 and with two state titles, said he has no plans of retiring any time soon.
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