Baseball: Marist surprises Providence
By Josh Krockey For Sun-Times Media May 30, 2012 11:12PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:13AM
Mike Hearne can be excused if he happens to gloat at the next family function.
The Marist senior earned the right after outpitching his cousin, David, and leading Marist to a 9-5 win over second-ranked Providence on Wednesday in Class 4A Andrew Sectional semifinal.
The No. 7 RedHawks (27-11) will play either No. 1 Lincoln-Way North or eighth-ranked Homewood-Flossmoor in the title game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“We had a close game against them last year (a 4-0 regular-season loss),” Mike Hearne said of Providence. “They ended up beating us in the sixth inning or something. So it felt good, because we hadn’t beaten them before when I was on the varsity.”
Hearne (9-4) allowed four first-inning runs, but settled down after that in tossing a complete game. He allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out three in avenging a 7-0 loss March 26 to the Celtics.
“I have 100 percent confidence in him at all times,” Marist coach Tom Fabrizio said. “He’s a tremendous competitor. He showed that today.”
Patience, timely hitting and poor fielding enabled Marist to get back in the game.
Four Providence pitchers combined to issue 10 walks and hit three batters. Six of those players eventually scored for the RedHawks. Providence (28-8) also undermined itself by committing four errors.
Marist made its move in the top of the fifth, scoring four times to tie the score and drive Providence starter David Hearne from the game. The RedHawks seized control one inning later, exploding for five runs.
Ryan Meyer was the facilitator, bouncing an RBI single into right field off Cristian Ochoa to put Marist ahead for good at 5-4.
“I just hung in there with two strikes,” Meyer said, “kept on fouling pitches off and then finally just poked one in there.”
The RedHawks put an additional four runs on the board through a pair of bases-loaded walks, a sacrifice fly by Jim Carroll and Jack Gainer’s pinch-hit RBI double.
After their big first inning — which featured Kevin Tully’s two-run single — the Celtics managed just one run on four hits.
“We didn’t play our best baseball today,” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “You learn real quick through the years it’s hard to advance in this single-elimination stuff.
“You have to play well and this was the worst we’ve played in about a month.”