GLEN CARBON - The Father McGivney Catholic baseball team opened its new ballpark in style as Drew Sowerwine threw a no-hitter in the inaugural game, and both Christian Logue and Daniel Gierer combined on a one-hit shutout in the nightcap as the Griffins swept a doubleheader over Wayne City 12-0 and 13-0 Saturday afternoon at Griffins Field.

The field was dedicated in pregame ceremonies, and the sweep was the perfect way to end the day as the Griffins played their first varsity game in nearly two years after the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Things went very well today," said McGivney head coach Chris Erwin. "We got out of the gate strong, we stuck to our gamer plan as far as our pitching goes, and offensively, we wanted to attack the ball in the (strike) zone."

The Griffins did a great job in all phases, scoring in every inning of both games, while keeping their pitching staff to a very strict pitch count in order to build up their arm strength. Both games ended up being called after four-and-a-half innings because of the 10-run rule.

Offensively, Gabe Smith went five-for-five in both ends of the doubleheader, while Sowerwine walked two and struck out five in the first game in throwing the no-hitter. The Griffins scored four in the first, one in the second, three in the third and four more in the fourth for the win.

Smith had three hits and two RBIs in the opener, while Jackson Rodgers had two hits and two RBIs, Daniel Gierer had two hits in the first game and Sowerwine helped himself with three RBIs. Jacob McKee also had a hit and an RBI, while Luke Deakos and Matthew Gierer also had hits.

In the second game, the Griffins scored two runs in each of the first three innings, then came up with seven runs in the fourth to help close out the Indians.

A.J. Sutberry,Austin Callovini and Smith all had two hits and an RBI in the nightcap, while Daniel Gierer had two hits and two RBIs, Rodgers and Matthew Gierer both had a hit and RBI, Sowerwine had a hit and Deakos drove home two runs in the game.

Logue started and threw only one inning, striking out two batters, while Daniel Gierer pitched the final four innings, walking one and fanning five while allowing the only Wayne City hit on the day.

"Everyone in the lineup got a hit and contributed," Erwin said.

The most important part of the day was the Griffins played their first game at their home ballpark, and it was indeed a red-letter day for the school and the ballclub.

"It's been a long time coming," a very happy Erwin said. "These guys have worked hard the last couple of years for this moment. We've been building the field for a couple of years, and it was a good win for the school and the baseball program."

Erwin also thanked everyone involved in helping to make Griffins Field a reality.

I just want to thank everyone at McGivney, especially (principal) Joe Lombardi and (athletic director) Jeff Oller, for building such a great ballpark," Erwin said.

The Griffins start the season off 2-0, and next play at Mt. Olive on Monday afternoon at East Alton-Wood River Tuesday afternoon and Odin on Wednesday afternoon before hosting EAWR on Thursday afternoon.

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