Elyria Catholic Storms Past Valley Forge in Late Innings, Holds On for 7-4 Win

Elyria Catholic Storms Past Valley Forge in Late Innings, Holds On for 7-4 Win

first_imgBy Patrick KennedyParma Heights- “We’re better than these guys,” yelled Valley Forge pitcher Brendan Santiago coming off the mound in the middle of the fourth while Valley Forge still enjoyed a 4-3 lead over Elyria Catholic.The two teams’ records didn’t matter on this particular day, as the Patriots (2-13) were in control for most of the game against the No. 2 ranked team in Division III.The lead did not last, as the Panthers came storming back to score one run in the sixth and three more in the seventh inning.“They had us on pins and needles the whole game,” Elyria Catholic coach Bruce Lisicky said.“We’ve been in a lot of tight games all year.  It’s nothing new to us being in a game like this.  The kids held their composure and we got to the top of our order, which we knew was coming up in the seventh inning which we wanted to do and some good things happened.”Jeff Spencer earned the win for the Panthers going all seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on seven hits.“He was an iron man out there, he battled.  That first or second inning he threw a lot of pitches, but then he settled down and he cruised through a few innings there and he kept us in the game and enabled us to tie the game,” Lisicky said after the game.Spencer also led the attack for the Panther offense, hitting 2-for-4 with three RBI and Leighton Banjoff chipped in with two hits and two RBI, reaching base four times.Santiago took the loss for the Patriots, going 6.1 innings giving up seven runs on 10 hits.Valley Forge’s offense received a spark from Vinny Zubal, who went 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI against the top team in the Great Lakes Conference.In the seventh inning, Valley Forge had the bases loaded with two men out for their number five hitter Drew Birch, who already had two hits and an RBI.Birch grounded out to the pitcher but if you had told Valley Forge coach Izzy Santiago Jr. that they would have the tying run on first base in the seventh inning, he would have taken that opportunity.“They’re a quality quality baseball team,” the coach said.“They’re ranked in the state and you tip your hat to them they battled.  I tip my hat to our guys. We kept fighting until the end.  We had the tying run at first base, that’s all you can ask for as an underdog, keep fighting until the end.”It hasn’t been a pretty season in terms of wins and losses, but Valley Forge has not been an easy out for teams in 2017.“We’re young,” Coach Santiago said.“We have one senior, we’re fighting through some stuff, but we’re in every game.  We’ve had a challenging schedule with a lot of state-ranked opponents, we want more wins, but we’re playing really well.”The Patriots and Panthers (13-3) meet again Thursday, April 27th at Elyria Catholic. Related Topics NEO HS Stafflast_img

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