JR Hardy slammed a home run and Alec Bradford picked up his second pitching win as Sacred Heart Prep posted an 8-4 baseball victory over San Mateo in the third round of pool play in the annual Tim Kuehnert Memorial Tournament on Thursday in Atherton.
Will Johnston had two RBI and Charlie Boyden provided a double to put the Gators (3-1) into the championship game on Monday. Sacred Heart Prep will host St. Ignatius in the title game at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Woodside will visit Menlo School at 11 a.m.; Menlo-Atherton will face El Camino at Sacred Heart Prep at 11 a.m. and Gunn will play San Mateo at Menlo at 2 p.m.
In the third round of pool play on Thursday:
Menlo-Atherton (3-1) pounded 13 hits and took advantage of 13 "free passes" (nine walks and four hit batsmen) to demolish Woodside, 14-2, in Redwood City.
Four M-A pitchers combined to limit the Wildcats to just four hits and one earned run while striking out 12. M-A starting pitcher AJ Lemons shut out the Wildcats over the first three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Leo McCabe tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Lemons to earn the victory, posting four strikeouts and allowing just two hits. (High school rules dictate that a starting pitcher must complete four innings to be credited with a victory.)
Colin Martell (three strikeouts; one hit and no earned runs allowed) and Brian Coggins (one strikeout, one earned run allowed) pitched the final two innings for the Bears. Third baseman Brett Moriarty led M-A's offensive attack, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored. Eleven different players collected base hits for M-A, including senior shortstop Lawson Joos, who drove in three runs (sacrifice fly, RBI single, RBI while reaching on an error).
The Bears scored four times in the top of the first on just one hit. M-A took advantage of a leadoff walk, four hit batsmen (one with the bases loaded), two Woodside errors, and a run-scoring passed ball to take control of the contest. RBI sacrifice flies by Lemons and Joos also contributed to the Bears' 4-0 advantage. M-A made it 9-0 in the third, scoring on a wild pitch, Max Gardiner's RBI single, a run-scoring double by Cain, Moriarty's RBI single, and Joos' ground ball to the right side of the infield (Joss reached on an error).
The lead became 13-0 in the fifth, thanks to a bases-loaded walk to Nikolai Tarran, Matt DeTrempe's run-scoring fielder's choice, Joos' RBI single, and an RBI groundout by Jordan Long. After Woodside broke the shutout in the bottom of the sixth, M-A added a final run in the top of the seventh inning when Matt DeTrempe walked and later scored on Brian Coggins' RBI fielder's choice.
At Menlo School, the host Knights (3-1) got off to sluggish star in a 9-5 win over El Camino, but finished strong by scoring eight runs in its last two at-bats while banging out 12 hits in the game. Once again the Knights used multiple pitchers with sophomore Rylan Pade getting his first varsity win and fellow sophomore Antonio Lopez notching his first save. Offensively sophomore Jared Lucian had three hits and two RBI and sophomore Carson Gampell added two RBI on two singles.
(Bob Moriarty, Menlo Athletics contributed)