Knoxville Catholic used the luck of the Irish to take a 7-1 win over the Hilltoppers. Catholic head coach Caleb Moore was a two-time All-American while at East Tennessee State.
“Cardinal Park looks a little bit different than it did in 2005 but it’s good to see familiar faces,” said Moore, who left ETSU with seven career records and three top single-season marks.
The luck started with a pair of walks to start the top of the third. Chris Arbuthnot sent a ball back to Science Hill pitcher Jackson Hill, who threw it into the right-field bullpen. That allowed a run to score before Nick Mackle’s RBI groundout made it a 2-0 score.
Hill was the losing pitcher with four innings of work. He gave up three runs, but only one was earned on a lone hit. Hill issued four walks.
The fourth inning started with a walk to the Fighting Irish, and a one-out walk put two runners on base. Parker Griffey provided an RBI single to widen the margin.
“You have to give Knoxville Catholic credit, they had the timely hitting and we didn’t,” Science Hill head coach Ryan Edwards said. “Their pitcher threw strikes and didn’t allow us to have free passes, so we had to make our own breaks and we didn’t make any at the plate either. We didn’t play a good game and that’s been us this year. Until we get consistent, we’re just an average team.”
The Hilltoppers broke through in the bottom of the fifth to close the margin. Cade McCoy drove in the run on a groundout.
The visitors added two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to give left-handed pitcher Nic Harpst more room. He went all seven innings and allowed one run on four hits.