BROCKTON — Entering the top of the seventh inning tied with top-seeded BC High at 3-3, the fourth-seeded Central Catholic Raiders cultivated a decisive four-run inning in a 7-5 triumph in the second round of the Super 8 on Saturday afternoon at Campanelli Stadium.
The Raiders (17-5) advanced to play No. 7 Franklin, while the Eagles (16-6) fell to the loser’s bracket and will play No. 2 Wachusett on Tuesday in Brockton.
The biggest contribution Central Catholic received came from senior catcher Dominic Keegan, who finished 5 for 5 with a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning.
“All day we were battling,” Keegan said. “It was probably one of our best days offensively. We’re not satisfied, but we’re in the right direction.
“Each at-bat is different. I sat on curveballs, was hitting fastballs. I was just trying to get on base.”
Mike Vasil’s RBI single into right field in the bottom of the third inning gave the Eagles a 1-0 advantage. The Virginia commit finished 2 for 4.
A wild pitch by Central’s winning starter, Sean Thompson (3⅓ innings, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts, 71 pitches), gave BC High a 2-0 lead.
Eagles starter John MacDonald (6 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 strikeouts, 100 pitches) had a costly wild pitch, too, one that cut Central’s deficit to 2-1.
Senior third baseman Marty McCormack got the Eagles a run back in the bottom of the fourth with a single for a 3-1 lead.
After tying the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth, Central Catholic took the lead for good in the seventh on Keegan’s solo home run. Senior Noah Lucier’s two-run double increased Central’s lead to 6-3, and pinch hitter Patrick Casserly’s RBI double plated the Raiders’ seventh run.
“A lot of moves worked for us today,” Central coach Marc Pelletier said. “We’re not a one-man team. We’re 2-0 in the Super 8. All the credit to the kids.”
Junior Connor Flavin’s sacrifice fly scored BC’s fourth run, and junior Sean O’Connell’s RBI single in the ninth wasn’t enough for the Eagles.
“Too many mistakes on our part,” BC High coach Norm Walsh said. “They’re too good of a team to make those mistakes and a couple big mistakes were simple.
“I thought we didn’t compete at the plate for the first five innings as well as we should have. I think that was the biggest difference in the game.”
Central Catholic’s Steve Hajjar, who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball draft, was deemed “not ready” by Pelletier to pitch Saturday or throughout the tournament with an unspecified injury. The lefthander and potentially University of Michigan-bound senior played first base Saturday and went 1 for 4 with a firstname.lastname@example.org