Baseball Unable to Come Away With Senior Night Win

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Cover photo by Kate Howard, all others by John Diepenbrock

On Friday night, the baseball team took on The King’s Academy Knights, narrowly losing 3-1 after a two-out rally in the seventh inning nearly brought M-A back. 

The Bears also celebrated senior night, honoring thirteen seniors before the game. Senior pitcher Thomas Scott got the start for the Bears, pitching through a single to hold the Knights scoreless, with the help of his senior battery mate Trevor Heinz who gunned down the Knight attempting to steal second. 

Molise goes into his windup

M-A’s manager Jordan Paroubeck said about his seniors, “This group honestly changed the culture of this program going forward. I think people are excited for M-A baseball again and it’s because of these seniors.” 

M-A’s seniors continued their hot start to the ball game, as senior outfielder Rowan Kelly led off the Bears with a double he smashed to left-center field, but was left stranded after a trio of M-A strikeouts. 

In the second inning, things began to go awry for M-A as Scott quickly surrendered a leadoff double and a single that brought home the first run of the game, making it Knights one and M-A zero. After another hit and walk, M-A made the move to bring in junior pitcher Jack Molise, who induced a pop-out before giving up two consecutive singles to plate two more runners. The Bears were able to limit the damage though, as Rowan Kelly hosed the Knights’ runner attempting to score on the second single with Heinz laying down the tag at home.

In the last of the second, a double from senior third baseman Shawn Pagee combined with Heinz reaching on an error led to an intentional walk of Rowan Kelly, but the Bears came up empty again.

Gray lets one rip from the mound

Molise was rock solid the rest of his outing, scattering hits across his four and a third innings of work without surrendering an earned run. Molise said, “I had to keep my energy high, and I had to battle because that’s what Thomas did right before me. We played pretty good defense behind me and I was able to minimize the score.” One of the great defensive plays of the afternoon was when junior shortstop Will Roberts made a sliding stop at short before throwing it to third to tag the advancing runner. 

The Bears were unable to get their bats going through the sixth inning though, recording just one additional hit from junior first baseman Jimmy Zaharias’ infield single in the fourth.

In the top of the seventh with the Bears down 3-0, senior pitcher James Gray came in to try and keep the game close. Gray showed off his great cutter to make quick work of the King’s Academy hitters, recording a groundout, a three-pitch strikeout, and a flyout in just eleven pitches. 

Rowan Kelly sends a ball into right field for a single

With the possibility of it being his last appearance, Gray said, “I’m glad I ended on a high note, and I hope it’s not my last outing. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of this team, and I hope we can go on a run here.”

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bears got a two-out rally started with a hard-hit single from junior outfielder David Lopez. Rowan Kelly followed it up with another ground ball through the infield, and Roberts got a stroke of luck to extend the ball game and bring home M-A’s first run after the Knights shortstop couldn’t handle his ground ball and made an error. However, the Bears were unable to complete the rally and secure a win on senior night, as a groundout derailed their comeback plans. 

Looking ahead to CCS, Paroubeck said, “I’d love to get hot right at the end, and I feel really confident that we can do that. We’ve got the pitching and the defense, we just need to get the bats going and I’m confident that we will.”

M-A returns to the diamond on Wednesday afternoon against the Hillsdale Knights at 4 pm.

Sam Leslie is a senior at M-A and is in his second year of journalism. As a sports editor, he both reports on games and helps oversee the Chronicle's sports reporting. He also has done extensive reporting on Detracking and other equity issues. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching sports, and listening to music.

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