PRINCETON — Ronnie Mudge knew he had a no-hitter going. And he didn’t mind talking about because his St. Bede teammates took all the pressure off him.
The Bruins broke the game open early with seven runs in the first inning and scored three more in the second to go up 10-0. All Mudge had to do was pitch, and he did it well, pitching the Bruins to a 13-0 shutout.
“I just go out there and throw. (If) they hit the ball, they hit the ball,” he said. With such a big lead before he took the mound, Mudge added he just wanted “to keep this lead going. Just throw strikes and let the defense (play).”
The senior right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced, losing his perfect game with two outs in the fourth inning when Tiger Matt Hayes sneaked one through the hole on the left side of the infield. Nick Rolando followed with a solid single to left, but that was all the Tigers would get off Mudge in his four innings.
The Bruins got the hits when they needed them, scoring all 13 runs with two outs. Mudge, who had three hits in the game, got the Bruins on the board with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded in the first inning. He said he just wanted to make contact “because if I hit the ball the bases were loaded, and one run was coming in.”
Jake Postula drew a bases-loaded walk; Sam Lucas blooped a two-run single to center; and lead-off man Brad Groleau brought in the seventh run of the inning with a liner to center.
“The left-hander started pushing the ball a little bit and couldn’t find the strike zone. Just a tough situation for a young kid. It leads to a lot of runs and it’s tough to catch up,” SBA coach John Bellino said.
The Tigers had seen this before when the Bruins plated seven runs in the third inning on the way to a 11-3 win over PHS Tuesday. With a better luck Thursday, the Tigers could have gotten out of the first with no runs.
Tiger starter Isaiah Taylor, a sophomore left-hander, benefited from a pair of Bruins caught looking with a generous strike zone. But an error proceeded a base hit by DH Logan Bima and a walk to Brandon Pietrowski, before Mudge came through with his two-out single.
Taylor was tagged for four hits and seven runs, none of which, however, were earned before senior right-hander Kyle Arnett came on in relief to finish out the first inning.
“We just have one bad inning every game,” PHS coach Tim Taylor said. “Tonight, we had two outs, ready to make the inning finish with no runs, and it just didn’t happen. They capitalized on each other, and we lost our strike zone. We had a tough time getting the strike zone all night. It just wasn’t our pitcher’s night.”
In the third, Postula had a RBI single, and Bobby Morrow ripped a two-run single to make it 10-0. Joel Inciong hit the Bruins’ first homer of the season with the new bbcore bats, a three-run shot to left field off Tiger reliever Caleb Dickens, who was celebrating his 16th birthday.
With the no-hit bid erased, Bellino summoned third baseman Brandon Pietrowski to get some work on the mound. Sam Schlesinger managed to beat out an infield hit to become just the third Tiger to reach safely in the game.
“We’re starting to find ourselves. We’re getting better,” Bellino said.
• Notes: The Tigers are scheduled to host Geneseo for a 10 a.m. double-header Saturday. The Bruins will host rival Hall Monday at the Academy.
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