14 Straight: McKee Hits Two Homers, Including Grand Slam, Wendler Also Homers, Griffins Score Seven In Fifth, Defeats Southwestern 13-2
GLEN CARBON - Jacob McKee hit a pair of home runs, including a fifth-inning grand slam, and drove in five runs, while freshman Issac Wendler also homered as Father McGivney Catholic won its 14th consecutive game to start the season with a 13-2 win over Piasa Southwestern Monday afternoon at Griffins Field.
The Griffins have yet to lose on the season and combined good and timely hitting with great pitching to win its 14 games on the trot, which includes wins over CBC and Edwardsville.
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"Today was a really good game," said McGivney head coach Chris Erwin. "Southwestern has a really nice team. Their pitcher, Colin LeMarr, throws the ball really well. I thought our guys had good approaches at the plate."
That the Griffins did, pounding out 10 hits against three different Piasa Bird pitchers, while Daniel Gierer also had a good game, allowing two runs on six hits, while fanning eight in four innings of work.
"Daniel threw very well for us today," Erwin said, "and Mason Holmes came on in relief and struck out all three batters he faced."
The highlights were the two homers by McKee and the home run by Wendler as the Griffins keep rolling along.
"We came out of our Easter break well," Erwin said, referring to the holiday break in which the Griffins didn't play after last Wednesday, an 11-0 win over Staunton. And Gierer, along with Jackson Rodgers and Gabe Smith, have given McGivney a very formidable starting rotation.
"I really have to say that we have three aces in Gabe, Jackson and Daniel," Erwin said. "I really feel comfortable about throwing any one of them at any team."In the game itself, the Griffins broke on top with two runs in the home half of the second before Southwestern fought back to tie the game with two of their own in the top of the third. After that, it was all McGivney, scoring three in the third, one in the fourth and seven in the fifth to take a 10-run rule win over the Birds.
McKee had two hits, both homers, and five RBIs on the day, including his grand slam that clinched the game, while Wendler had two hits, including a homer, and two RBIs, A.J. Sutberry had a pair of hits, both Nick Franklin and Kannon Kamp had a hit and RBI each, Drew Klelnheider had a hit and Rodgers drove in a pair of runs.
Rocky Darr had a pair of hits to pace Southwestern, while Ryan Lowis had a two-run double for his only hit and RBIs on the day and Hank Bouillon, Ian Brantley and Colin LeMarr each had a hit.
To go along with Gierer's performance on the mound, Holmes struck out the side in the fifth in his one inning of work, while Colin LeMarr fanned four in three-and-a-third innings on the mound and Parker LeMarr struck out one while on the mound for the Birds.
Southwestern is now 8-4 on the year and had a busy week ahead, playing at Litchfield on Tuesday and at Marquette Catholic on Wednesday, returning home on Friday to meet Vandalia in a South Central Conference tilt, all games starting at 4:30 p.m., then play two at Freeburg on Saturday, going up against the host Midgets at 10 a.m., then meeting Pleasant Plains at 12 noon.
The Griffins are now 14-0 and have what Erwin called a tough two-week stretch ahead, playing a Gateway Metro Conference home-and-home on Tuesday and Thursday against Bunker Hill, hosting the Minutemen on Tuesday and playing the return game Thursday at Bunker Hill, then are at Alton on Friday, all games starting at 4:30 p.m., then playing at Maryville Christian Saturday at 10 a.m. The next week, the Griffins will play twice against Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran, and also face Red Bud, Belleville Althoff Catholic and Carlinville.
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