Carducci tosses shutout, Toronto Post 86 takes down Brilliant Post 573

SINGLING — Toronto Post 86’s Nick Chetock delivers a single against Brilliant Post 573 Thursday. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

CONNORVILLE — Taking the mound for Post 86 after wrapping up his collegiate season at Thiel College, right hander Sante Carducci felt as if he had improved a lot over the course of the season with the Tomcats.

Toronto assistant coach Greg Herrick — who was filling in for coach Steve Sninchak who was not able to be at Thursday’s game at Bill Mazeroski Field — and Carducci’s Post 86 teammates noticed that improvement in a big way as he threw a complete-game shutout, holding Brilliant Post 573 to just four singles in a 6-0 win, while racking up eight strikeouts with an efficient 75 pitch performance.

“Sante is on a new level,” Herrick said of his pitcher. “He spent a year in college and he is phenomenal now. We couldn’t be more happy with him. He worked hard and stayed under 80 pitches.”

For Carducci, being back with Toronto while having a few new tools to use is exciting.

“It’s so much easier to go out there and play my game when I know I have my boys out there having my back,” he said. “I wish I knew the stuff that I have learned in college when I was in high school. I have to give a lot of credit to my coaches (at Thiel), they have me in a really good program. Mentally I am approaching the game different now. It’s a blast to come back and share that knowledge with these guys.”

Post 573 coach Keith Rejonis, whose club is now 0-3, also noticed Carducci’s efforts, while remaining optimistic about his team.

“That’s a kid coming off a collegiate year and he looked good,” Rejonis said. “He is tough. My kids were swinging the bats, they just weren’t getting the quality hits that (Toronto) was.

“These kids are not giving up. This team was put together in a small amount of time and these kids have the intangibles and the heart to compete. We’ve got 25 games left to improve from here.”

Post 86 (3-2) got the only run it ended up needing to win in the top of the first inning. Kobe Herrick drew a walk from Brilliant starter Dakota Swearingen, who took the loss and went 6 2/3 innings, and scored on A.J. Clegg’s RBI double.

Toronto added two more in the top of the second to make it a 3-0 game. John Marelli, who was a visitor at the field that was his home diamond during the high school season with Buckeye Local, tripled in Isaac Schmitz and then scored on a wild pitch.

Zac Berger notched an RBI single in the third inning, scoring Clegg to make it a 4-0 lead.

Swearingen settled in and put up zeros in the next three innings, but the Brilliant bats were not able to put anything together to get back into the game before Toronto tacked on a couple more insurance runs.

Brendan Matyas reached on an error in the top of the seventh, Cole Bodnar got hit by a pitch to put two on, then Jory Clapham drove in a run with a pinch-hit RBI single. Zac Gulczysnki picked up a pinch-hit RBI single of his own with two outs to push the lead to 6-0, before Sarducci worked around a leadoff single and an error to seal the shutout.

Despite getting the win, there was one thing that stuck out to Herrick that needs to improve.

“We have been hitting the ball very well, but we leave too many guys on base,” he said. “We left 12 on base in our last game and nine tonight. We talked about it before the game, and we’re going to have that talk again.”

Toronto is back in action tonight at Weirton Post 10. Brilliant returns to Bill Mazeroski Field on Saturday for a doubleheader with Moundsville Post 3.

Toronto 6, Brilliant 0

Toronto 1-2-1 0-0-0 2 — 6 12 1

Brilliant 0-0-0 0-0-0 0 — 0 4 2

TORONTO (3-2): Carducci (WP, CG, 0R, 4H, 8K, 1BB) and Marelli.

BRILLIANT (0-3): Swearingen (LP, 6 2/3IP, 6R (5ER), 12H, 0K, 3BB, 2HBP), Christian (1/3IP, 0R, 0H, 0K, 0BB) and Nest.

TWO OR MORE HITS: Toronto (Marelli 2, Clegg 2); Brilliant (Barber 2). DOUBLES: Toronto: 2 (Clegg 2); Brilliant: None. TRIPLES: Toronto: 1 (Marelli); Brilliant: None. HOME RUNS: None. RBIs: Toronto (Marelli, Clegg, Berger, Clapham, Gulczynski); Brilliant (None).