MENDOTA – St. Bede pitcher Damon Smith virtually dominated the Mendota Trojans’ batting order Monday afternoon, as his Bruins scored runs in five of the game’s seven innings en route to a convincing 13-1 victory.
St. Bede’s lineup recorded 13 hits, including five doubles and a home run, and coaxed 11 walks, as the Bruins (13-1) plated 13 and stranded another 12 runners on base.
“They are, by far, the best hitting team we’ve seen all year,” said Mendota coach Aaron Sester of St. Bede’s varsity baseball squad. “Their kid, Smith, was dealing today. Hat’s off to him. He’s probably one of the better pitchers we’ve seen this year ... mixed up his pitches well.
“And, man, they could rake. Anything we threw over the plate, any mistake we made, pitching-wise, they took advantage of, and ripped the ball.”
Logan Bima was the hottest-hitting Bruin on this day, going 4-5 with a pair of doubles, four RBIs, three runs scored, and a two-run home run to straight-away center field in the top of the third inning.
Smith, Bima’s cousin, pitched a complete game gem, yielding only one unearned run on five hits – all singles – walking one and striking out nine Trojans among his 88 pitches thrown.
“Damon did a nice job,” SBA coach John Bellino said. “We got a lot of hits, scored enough runs, and Damon shut them down.”
Smith retired the first 11 batters he faced until Jon Gehm walked on a 3-1 count with two outs in the bottom of the fourth frame. Trae Blumhorst followed Gehm with an infield single, Mendota’s first hit recorded, but both runners were left on base.
By that time, the Bruins already led, 7-0.
St. Bede struck for three runs in the second. Bima doubled, Brandon Pietrowski singled, and Steven Ebner walked in consecutive plate appearances. All three eventually scored.
The Bruins matched that number of runs one inning later. That’s when Bima launched his two-run homer to center, and Pietrowski, who had doubled, scored on Ebner’s sac fly to right field.
Austin Schwab singled home Brad Groleau, who walked and moved to second on a wild pitch, in the top of the fourth.
Freshman Garet Zinke took the pitching loss for Mendota (5-12), allowing seven runs on 10 hits over five innings, walking four and striking out two.
“We had a freshman on the mound today who’s a really good thrower, and he’s learning to be a pitcher,” Sester said. “Today was a big learning curve for him. Against good teams like this, if you keep the ball up, they’re going to hit you. But he’s enjoying his time on varsity, and he’s learned lots of lessons.”
St. Bede’s seventh inning featured a two-run double to deep right field by Bima, followed by another RBI double to deep left field by Pietrowski.
Groleau, Bima and Pietrowski all scored three runs apiece.