Eastside Catholic completes undefeated conference run with win over Blanchet
Eastside Catholic baseball coach Curt Towey may need to hang a few warning signs around the Crusader’s baseball field, because at the rate his team is hitting the ball over the fence, they’re bound to strike someone soon.
Towey’s Crusaders added two more longballs to its season total, as Eastside Catholic powered past Bishop Blanchet on April 30 for the second time in three days, winning 11-1 and capping off an undefeated league regular season.
After the game, the Crusaders were eager to get right to work in order to prepare for this week’s Metro League tournament. It was Towey’s task to get them to lighten up and enjoy the day first.
“I told the boys to relax and enjoy this,” Towey said. “I know we’re going on to the playoffs, but they really need to enjoy this moment because there are not a lot of high school baseball teams that go 16-0 in league.”
With the Braves needing a win to salvage a season split, they ran into Eastside’s deadly combination of powerful pitching and explosive offense.
After George Angulo singled in Mike Bush to give Eastside Catholic (19-1, 16-0 Metro League Mountain Division) a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, first baseman Matt Boyd hit a towering two-run home run on the next pitch to break the game wide open.
Shortstop Cal Towey added another two-run shot in the fourth that put Eastside Catholic up 7-0 and chased Bishop Blanchet starting pitcher Mark Klick.
“They can bang it,” Curt Towey said. “They kids can do everything. They can hit the three-run home run, they can bunt guys over and they can steal. I just kind of steer the ship a little bit.”
It was more than enough run support thanks to a terrific performance by Crusaders starter T.J. Parthemer.
Parthemer fell behind 3-0 to open the game against Blanchet leadoff hitter Adam McNaghten, but came back to strike the right-hander out looking. The senior lefty retired the next 12 Braves hitters in a row and carried a perfect game into the fifth inning before Vinny Papsedero reached on an error by third baseman Spenser Payne.
“I went in there with an emphasis to get ahead with my fastball, then go to my off-speed pitches” said Parthemer, who allowed only two hits, struck out nine and improved his record to 8-0 on the year. “I knew they’d try to take me out of my rhythm but I just tried to keep focused.”
Parthemer cruised until the sixth when McNaghten doubled to open up the inning and later scored on a Josh Sale single to left field. Ron Johnson entered in relief and retired Brad Barham on a fly ball to right field.
Eastside Catholic scored three more times in the bottom of the six, including a walk-off double by Kellen Matsuno that ended the game due to the 10-run rule.
That drew plenty of cheers from the standing-room only crowd who showed up to support Eastside’s seniors, who played their final regular season game. It was the Crusaders 18th win in a row since a 6-4 loss to KingCo 3A-leading Skyline in the second game of the season.
“It’s really tough to go undefeated in league because you’re always going to trip and stumble and have a bad day,” Curt Towey said. “But these guys never did that. They expect to win now.”
With the regular season out of the way, now it’s back to work tomorrow for the Crusaders, said Cal Towey, the coach’s son. The Metro League tournament begins play Thursday.
“We all know it’s good to win the division, but what matters is winning the tournament next week,” said Cal Towey. “That’s the big deal. It’s a whole different season.”
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastside Catholic 11,
Bishop Blanchet 1
at Eastside Catholic High School
1 2 3 4 5 6 – R H E
Bishop Blanchet 0 0 0 0 0 1 – 1 2 2
Eastside Catholic 0 4 1 3 0 3 – 11 15 2
WP: Parthemer (8-0) LP: Klick
HR: EC- Matt Boyd, Cal Towey; BB- none
RBIs: EC- George Angulo (2), Boyd (2), Mike Bush, Spenser Payne, Cal Towey (3); BB: Sale