EDWARDSVILLE - Junior pitcher Alec Marchetto threw six solid innings, giving up only two runs on six hits, while Edwardsville scored four times in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line by Kayden Jennings, then got a solo homer from Joe Chiarodo in the sixth as the Tigers won their third game as in many days with a big 7-3 win over St. John Vianney Catholic of Kirkwood, Mo., in a baseball game played Friday afternoon at Tom Pile Field.
The Tigers are now on a three-game winning streak after having lost two of three the week before and are starting to look like they've turned things around quite well.
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"Our guys, as the week went on, they've continued to mature, like within our pre-work before games and our practice, I think our attention to detail's better, we're able to stack and build some things we've been good at in the past and we're getting tot hat point where we're starting to gain some confidence with it," Edwardsville head baseball coach Tim Funkhouser said.
Attention to the one percenters is starting to pay off and Marchetto's performance was a very good one as well.
"Guys making game adjustments," Funkhouser said, "Alec Marchetto showed a lot more composure and trust and really came out well against a really formidable lineup. They've got guys throughout the lineup that can do different things and he did a great job of holding them down with good defense behind him, too. And then, guys like (Jennings), Jennings had some big hits today and that big double in the fifth inning was huge for us after we didn't have at-bats we wanted, but he was able to pick up and that's why you have a team. And other guys have done it at different times themselves. So it's good to see our guys have some success as a group."
The attention to the details the Tigers have shown in their workouts showed in the game, as Funkhouser is very happy with that.
"Yeah, we've been practicing hard all year," Funkhouser said, "but I think there's a difference between like, 'I'm really practicing hard' versus 'I know what my intent is one something. I know there's going to be some failure, but I'm going to make sure that my mind is in the right space so I can go play,' And when we do that, now you understand if you had failure, you trust yourself, or did you really have your mind right where it needed to be."
The answer was very positive as up and down the lineup, the Tigers played high-quality baseball and Funkhouser was very happy with how it all turned out.
"Yeah, it was going o be a nip-and-tuck game," Funkhouser said, "and we were able to lengthen. And then, Joe Chiarodo hammers that ball over the fence, that was impressive. It was just a great swing and he's got some power. He's had a ton of success for us all year, but it's something he'll have power continue to come out."
After a scoreless first inning, David Broughton led off the Golden Griffins' second by hitting a one-two pitch over the fence in left-center to give Vianney a 1-0 lead. Marchetto responded by retiring the next three batters and in the third, got some help, got some good defense to get out of another situation as Josh Van Deman was caught stealing and Oliver Degenhardt struck out.
Edwardsville had a chance in the third when Jennings led off with a double to right-center and Grayson Rathgeb was hit by a pitch, but Griffins pitcher Charlie Spoonhour got out of the inning with an infield fly and a grounder to second. Vianney had a chance to add on to their lead in the fourth when Broughton doubled and went to third on a ground out to third. Jennings went deep in the hole on a grounder and made a great throw to get Landon Harwell and end the inning to keep it 1-0.
Edwardsville tied it in the fourth with a leadoff double by Riley Iffrig, a one-out walk to Andrew Hendrickson and a two-out single by Jennings, with Iffrig beating the throw to the plate to bring the Tigers level to 1-1. In the fateful fifth, Edwardsville sent 10 men to the plate, starting with base hits by both Rathgeb and Cole Funkhouser to put runners on the corners. An RBI single by Chiarodo put Edwardsville up 2-1 and walks to both Iffrig and Caeleb Copeland forced in another run to make it 3-1. Two outs later, Jennings delivered the big blow, doubling down the left field line to score two runs and make it 5-1. A force play at second following a walk ended the inning.
A one-out single by Broughton off of Marchetto started the Vianney sixth and one out later, a walk to Harwell brought in pinch-hitter Nolan Jaworowski, who singled home Broughton to make it 5-2. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Chiarodo unleashed his homer over the right-center field fence to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead, which became 7-2 after Copland drew a walk and a pinch single by Drew Frese was misplayed by the right fielder, allowing pinch runner Evan Moore to score.
Lucas Huebner came on to pitch in the seventh and allowed two walks and an RBI double to Broughton that put runners on second and third with two out, but Huebner fanned J.D. Dohrmann to end the game and give the Tigers the well-deserved win.
The Golden Griffins are now 14-2 on the year, while the Tigers go to 12-4 and play their annual game at Busch Stadium on Sunday evening, going against Jackson, Mo., with the start time of approximately 6 p.m., following the St. Louis Cardinals-Pittsburgh Pirates game. The Tigers then play a Southwestern Conference home-and-home set against Collinsville, the first game at Tom Pile Field on Tuesday and the return game Thursday at Fletcher Field in Woodland Park, both games starting at 4:30 p.m. Edwardsville plays a pair at McCracken County High in Paducah, Ky., Apr. 22, in games starting at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
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