Purdy scores game's last nine runs to top McAuley

Apr. 5—McAuley Catholic was in a back-and-forth battle with Purdy in the early parts of its baseball game Thursday, but the Eagles busted it open with two six-run innings to separate for an eventual 18-8 win.

Purdy got an impact performance from a young freshman, Jackson Lee, with a two-RBI hit with the bases loaded in a tie game. Later, Lee took the mound in relief of starting pitcher Easten Goetz and got out of a jam during a close game to maintain a 9-8 lead.

"We started the year with a couple other guys in the lineup, and some injuries and situations led to (Lee) having a shot," Purdy head coach Josh Hughes said. "He's stayed in the lineup. He's getting hits after hits.

"He's probably a (junior varsity) guy on the mound, but when you play four games in a week, you have to eat up innings. We know he's going to throw strikes, and he did exactly what he was supposed to do."

Four errors in the field to go along with seven walks and six hit batters from the pitching staff hurt McAuley in this one.

"I felt like today we came in a little flat," Warriors head coach Beez Jones said. "We did pick it back up. ... We were not as crisp as we needed to be in the field. We threw the ball around and gave them some extra bases."

The Warriors (3-4) trailed 3-0 after the first frame. But Bradley Wagner was hit by a pitch to start the top of the second, and that started a rally.

Wagner would steal second base and then be driven in on a base hit from Connor Taffner to make it 3-1. Guillermo Lechuga drove in the next two runs two batters later and tied the game at 3.

Rocco Bazzano-Joseph used a base hit to drive in a run and give McAuley a 4-3 lead in the top of the third.

The game was flipped around in the home half of the third when Purdy struck for six runs and got four of them from two hits.

With the game tied at 4-4, Lee stepped into the batter's box. He hit a hard line drive that he pulled right down the left field line for a double with the bases loaded, making it 6-4.

"I just went up to the plate with a good mindset wanting to get a base hit so I could drive in some runs and give our defense a little breathing room," Lee said.

"He's having fun," coach Hughes said about Lee. "That's the big thing. He's having some success. His big brother (Hunter Lee) is our senior shortstop and pitches for us. ... For little brother to get a little recognition and a little opportunities is pretty nice."

After a passed ball allowed another run to score, sophomore pitcher Goetz stepped in to the left-handed box. Goetz jumped all over a pitch down in the zone and drove it to the fence out in right field. The ball took one bounce and got to the fence, driving in two more runs to make it 9-4 for his biggest hit of the year.

"My adrenaline was pumping. I loved it," Goetz said. "I was thinking I was going to get an inside-the-park (home run)."

McAuley got to Goetz a little in the fifth inning, and it turned into four runs in the inning to get back in the ballgame at 9-8 before Lee came in to shut it down.

"There was definitely some nerves there pitching with the bases loaded going in, but I trusted my defense to make plays behind me," Lee said. "It felt great knowing that we had a great chance to win that game after coming off the field that inning."

"Their (McAuley) 1, 2 and 3 are three really good baseball players," Hughes said. "That's pretty impressive for a freshman to come in and not have to worry about anything and just throw strikes. That was pretty huge for him to do it."

Goetz pitched five innings allowing eight runs — five earned — on six hits and four walks. He struck out five batters.

"Our kids aren't going to quit. We had a few brain lapses, if you will, and we had some mistakes that we made the wrong throw and that cost us," Jones said.

The Warriors didn't get any closer as walks and hit batters ailed them the rest of the way. In total, they walked seven Purdy batters and clunked six of them with pitches.

Tripp Miller got the start and recorded eight outs. He surrendered nine runs on 10 hits and two walks.

Brek Sickman got the next eight outs while allowing eight runs — five earned — on five hits and three walks.

Max Anreder came in during the middle of the sixth inning with one out. He recorded one more out but surrendered the final run on a dribbler to second base that was hit in between the second baseman and first baseman. Anreder walked two batters.

McAuley got six hits from six different batters in the game. Lechuga's two RBIs led the team. Case Richards, Wagner and Taffner led with two runs scored each.

Purdy (6-9) got three hits from Hunter Lee (3 for 3), Hunter Wormington (3 for 4) and Teagan Manwarren (3 for 3). Lee drew three walks as well. Goetz and the younger Lee had three RBIs each. The elder Lee and Wormington scored three times apiece.