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High School Extra (May 19): St. Joe’s surprises Canisius in baseball

St. Joe’s defeats Canisius

It was a big win for St. Joe’s baseball, but the final score hasn’t lulled the Marauders into a false sense of security.

St. Joe’s defeated Canisius, 11-3, to hand the Crusaders their first Monsignor Martin Association loss of the season.

The teams play a rematch Tuesday at St. Joe’s at 4:30 with the winner taking the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs.

“It was a much closer game than the score indicated for sure,” said St. Joe’s coach Phil Nasca. “They played well. The guys know what’s ahead of them. They will not come in overconfident. They know they played well, but the seniors were saying after the game, ‘It’s 0-0 when the game starts.’ Today has no bearing on tomorrow.”

But Monday’s win was still important. Garrett Baugher had an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the fifth.

“Those were big hits and got us going,” Nasca said.

Derek Penman had two hits and drove in a run while Will Frank pitched the complete game.

Nichols, Canisius advance

The championship game in Monsignor Martin boys lacrosse will feature Canisius and Nichols after the visiting Vikings upset top-seeded St. Joe’s in Monday’s semifinals.

Jake Parentis had two goals and an assist for Nichols.

“The difference for us was ball control and stellar defense,” Nichols coach Bob Strickland said. “They’ve really come together as of late. The defense has been pretty stellar all year. The offense has done a better job of controlling the ball and moving off the ball.”

Strickland said the last time Nichols won the league championship was 10 years ago.

Canisius held off a late charge from Bishop Timon-St. Jude to earn a 10-8 win in its semifinal.

The Crusaders led, 7-3, at halftime, but in the fourth quarter Timon scored three straight goals to draw within one, 9-8.

“We knew they weren’t going to go down easy and the kids stuck with the game plan and kept persevering through and held up the last few minutes,” Canisius coach Joe Smith said.

Brad Pohlman, Jack Seminara and Reed Martin each had two goals and an assist in the win.

“It’s been very tight in Monsignor Martin this year,” Smith said. “It’s anybody’s ball game in any of the games. We had to play our best game and hopefully that keeps rolling into the championship.”

The title game will be played on Thursday. The site is still to be determined.

St. Mary’s upsets SH

On paper, St. Mary’s wasn’t supposed to beat Sacred Heart. The Sharks had dominated Monsignor Martin softball all season and St. Mary’s was the decided underdog.

But a three-run home run by Brie Poules in the top of the seventh inning gave the Lancers the 4-1 upset over Scared Heart and a spot in the league championship game.

The Lancers had 13 hits while starting pitcher Erin Hufford shut down the Sacred Heart offense, tossing a complete-game four-hitter.

“I’ve been stressed out since noon on how we were going to handle hitters one through six,” St. Mary’s coach Kevin Hufford said. “We had a good plan and the girls executed it. Erin hit her spots very well. She’s not a big strikeout kind of kid. She keeps hitters on the ground and she did exactly that.”

Meanwhile the offense was able to get hits off Sacred Heart’s Maria Gabriele, who committed to Niagara University.

St. Mary’s will play the winner of Tuesday’s semifinal between Nardin and Nichols. The title game is scheduled for Wednesday.