Kellen Williams puts the Spartans up 3-2 with what would be a game winning 2 run double against Marist notices a win against Marist at Marian Catholic, Monday, May 19th, 2014 in Chicago Heights. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2014 2:22PM
With the tying runner dancing off third base, Marian Catholic pitcher Michael Bainbridge’s focus was at home.
Absolutely dealing on the mound Monday, Bainbridge wanted to close out his gem, and he wanted to make Marian’s graduation on time.
Protecting a one-run lead, Bainbridge struck out Marist’s Dylan Woodworth on a high fastball to preserve host Marian Catholic’s 3-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference win.
“Just stay focused even more (in the last at-bat) than I was the whole game,” Bainbridge said. “Stay ahead, stay focused, keep battling.”
Bainbridge battled throughout, keeping the Spartans (15-15, 7-8) in the game until his offense could pick him up. The senior tossed a complete game with 13 strikeouts, allowing two unearned runs on five hits and a walk.
“I was trying to work ahead and throw first-pitch strike,” Bainbridge said. “I know my teammates are going to back me up and get some runs and hits behind me.”
The Marian offense did pick him up. It just took a while.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Pat Schmidt reached via a single and pinch-hitter Chris Baker drew a walk. Kellen Williams, who struck out his previous at-bat, stepped to the dish as calm as could be.
“I didn’t have the best at-bat before, swinging at some bad pitches,” Williams said. “I was trying to be more selective and get one I could drive and get those runs in when it counted.”
On an 0-and-2 count, Williams drilled a double to left field that rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Schmidt and Baker to score to put Marian up for good.
“I love playing behind Mike when he’s got this stuff (going),” Williams said. “He’s got that great curveball, and we don’t have to do any work. Just ‘Ks’.”
In the top of the seventh, Marist’s Tommy Finwall was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved into third on a Bainbridge throwing error before Bainbridge struck out Woodworth to end the game.
Ryan Kairis threw six strong innings for Marist (16-12, 8-5), allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Barrett Callaghan and John Carmody each had an RBI for the RedHawks.