Year ends for CCHS

CAMBRIDGE – Lighting in the sky caused Tuesday’s Division IV district semifinal game between Catholic Central and Tuscarawas Central Catholic to be delayed for half an hour.

Two-out lighting on the field caused an end to the Crusaders’ solid season.

The Saints scored six times after two were gone in handing Don Young’s club a 7-3 setback. TCC, now 21-5, will square off with Toronto in Friday’s 5 p.m. championship game at Don Coss Stadium.

Central, which captured the OVAC 2A title along with a sectional crown, drops the curtain at 17-7-1.

“They battled,” Young said of Tusky Central, “They did what they had to do today and we didn’t. They have some good players and that’s a pretty good team. I wish them all the luck.”

The Saints got the game’s initial tally when Alex Lawless delivered a two-out single in the third, scoring Michael Lawless, who started the frame with a base knock. Central came right back in its half of the inning, Brenton Colabella’s base hit plating Chris Murphy.

Tusky Central scored three in the fourth after a pair of strikeouts by Murphy, who started on the bump for the Crusaders and took the loss. The big blow was Gage Miller’s two-run single.

Young’s crew responded again with a pair of tallies. Joe DeFallo and Murphy both delivered RBI hits. Central, unfortunately, left the bases loaded and trailed 4-3.

The Saints scored two more in the sixth, again after two were out. Andrew Cugliari ripped a double to spark the rally. That’s when the lighting was spotted and the delay began. TCC threatened again in the sixth but Central turned a 4-6-3 twin killing to escape further damage. The game’s final run came via Miller sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Cade Cummings earned the pitching win for the Saints. Cugliari took over in the fourth and silenced Central’s offense. He allowed just two hits during three and a third innings while fanning five.

“I’m disappointed right now,” Young stated. “We played inconsistent all year but were able to pull some things out. We just didn’t do the things we needed to do today against a good team.

“Our two seniors (DeFallo and Kyle Laukert) led us all year and did their best today to get us over the hump. We just made way too many mistakes all over the field.”

Murphy, just a sophomore, recorded nine strikeouts during his time on the mound. He gave way to Jack Reed, another 10th grader, in the sixth. Junior Aleks Porreca came on in the seventh.

“Murph had a little issue in the middle innings with his ribs and shoulders but he battled through that,” Young noted. “We thought he was going to be OK.

“Again, our problem is we just don’t score enough runs. We leave too many guys on and we strike out in bad situations. We had some plays in the field that we should have made and we didn’t. That’s uncharacteristic of us. But you can’t always play a perfect game.”

DeFallo, Murphy and Josh Merriman collected two hits each for the Crusaders, who had eight as a team.

“We’re definitely going to miss our two seniors,” Young continued. “During the second half of the year, they did everything for us. They may not have had the best numbers but they were our best players during the second half.”

As far as the future goes, Young noted “we have to get a lot better.”

“We came a long way this year but there still is room for plenty of improvement. If we do that, the future is great.”

Tusky Catholic 7, Catholic Central 3

TCC 001 320 1 – 7 12 0

SCC 002 100 0 – 3 8 0

TUSKY CATHOLIC (21-5): Cummings (WP, 3BB, 1K) Cugliari (4, 0BB, 5K) and A. Lawless. A. Lawless 2S, D, RBI; M. Lawless 3S, RBI; Fragasse 3S; Cugliari D, RBI; Miller S, 2RBI; Fondriest S.

STEUBENVILLE CENTRAL (17-7-1): Murphy (LP, 5BB, 9K, 1HB) Reed (6, 2BB, 0K) Porreca (7, 0BB, OK) and Laukert. Murphy 2S, RBI; Merriman 2S; DeFallo 2S, RBI; Colabella S, RBI; Porreca S.