Tonawanda News — With one hard swing, St. Joseph’s William Frank sent a ball over the left field fence, sending a message to Christian Central Academy.
That message, the Marauders are here to stay.
Pitcher Tyler Howard threw six innings of one-hit baseball, striking out 10 as St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute rolled up Christian Central, 9-0.
“I struggled at first, but then I was able to settle down and get it together,” Howard said. “I am looking to just keep everything rolling with good defense and strong pitching.”
Howard walked the first batter, Crusader pitcher Nathan Rarick, then gave up his only hit of the game to CCA second baseman Caleb Moser.
After a quick chat with St. Joe’s catcher David Archer, Howard put it all together, striking out the next three batters.
St. Joe’s broke open the scoring in the first when Anthony Brophy doubled to deep left-center, scoring right fielder Derek Penman.
Howard struck out two more in the second, with the third out coming when Archer gunned down CCA shortstop Alex Cook as he attempted to steal second.
The Crusaders threatened in the third when Rarick reached on a fielder’s choice, got a good jump off of first and narrowly escaped the strong-armed Archer’s throw to second, then moved over to third on a groundout.
CCA could not get past Howard, who got the final out to end the threat.
The top-seed Marauders doubled their lead in the bottom of the third when Frank knocked Penman in with a fielder’s choice.
Penman finished 2 for 3 with three runs and an RBI.
St. Joe’s added another run in the fourth when second baseman Gavin Borkowski doubled home Howard who reached with a double of his own earlier in the inning.
The Marauders put the game out of reach in the sixth. Pinch hitter Nicholas Courtney caught a pitch on the ankle to reach first. Borkowski moved him over to second with a single.