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SBA’s Smith outduels Cru for regional title

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(Photo contributed)
Damin Smith (22) gets the glad hand from teammates Logan Bima (left) and Brad Groleau after pitching the Bruins to the regional crown.

OTTAWA - St. Bede met Ottawa Marquette at Masinelli Field Saturday at high noon to play for the regional championship. This low-hitting pitchers battle between Bruin starter Damin Smith and Cru starter Patrick Killilea ended in 2-1 win for St. Bede.

Killilea allowed two runs on five hits and one error while Smith allowed one run on five hits and three errors. Smith also drove in the first run for St. Bede sending Brandon Pietrowski across the plate with a sacrifice fly. Pietrowski added the second run in the third inning with a base hit scoring Brad Groleau.

“It was a real good ballgame. They are two good teams,” St. Bede coach John Bellino said. “We were fortunate to get a couple of runs early, we made some plays, and Marquette had their chance. You got to give Damin Smith his due…he made some pitches.”

Smith pitched all seven innings in the game and was efficient on the mound, Bellino said.

“He was only at 90 pitches and he’s been doing that all year. He’s the senior… he’s supposed to be our number one,” Bellino said. “I think (Marquette) only hit about three balls hard.”

Going forward against Beecher at the Seneca Sectional, Bellino said his team needs to start hitting in the middle of the order and hitting better overall. Beecher was a 5-0 winner over Watseka at Momence. Gametime is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Seneca.

The Cru (25-8) went three up and three down in the first inning while St. Bede managed one hit on a double from Sam Lucas. He was summarily stranded at third base. In the second, Marquette got a base runner after Smith hit batter Logan Sparks with a pitch. Sparks was picked off.

In the top of the second the Bruins had their best opportunity handed to them when Pietrowski got a base hit. Then Jake Postula made first on an error at second and St. Bede had two runners on with one down. Designated hitter Steven Ebner then hit a single to load the bases. That’s when Smith hit his fly ball to score the first run. Bobby Morrow hit an infield fly to end the inning.

St. Bede (19-2) added its second run in the third and there was not another score until the Cru earned a run in the sixth on Evan Snyder’s RBI hit.

The Cru had a chance in the bottom of the seventh getting a lead-off base hit and a runner (Norman) to second on the sacrifice from Austin McDonnell. With one out and one runner at second Smith, shut Marquette down with two strikeouts to end the game.

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