Goldsmith powers top-ranked St. Rita past No. 6 Mount Carmel

By Drake Skleba
Senior Writer

CHICAGO - In mid-August, St.Rita senior first baseman Nick Goldsmith will report to the University of Pittsburgh for preparations leading up to the football Panthers’ 2014 season-opener. Goldsmith will be in the running for the starting job as punter. Meanwhile, on the baseball field, Goldsmith continued his all-out assault on Chicago Catholic League Blue Division pitchers on Wednesday.

Goldsmith’s three-run bomb highlighted a four-run St. Rita explosion in the top of the first inning against No. 6 Mount Carmel  at Haggerty Field. Top-ranked St. Rita (28-2; 13-2) went on to crush Mount Carmel 12-5 and remain tied with  defending CCL-Blue champion No.3 St. Laurence (26-3;13-2). The Vikings dispatched No.20 Brother Rice 4-2 at Brother Rice on Wednesday.

The Mustangs immediately went to work on Mount Carmel’s WIU-bound lefty Dave Dobrinich (4-2) in the first. After one out, junior third baseman Shane Peisker (3-for-4, 3R, SB) walked. Starting and winning pitcher Jake Shepski singled. University of Tennessee recruit Tyler Halas doubled home Peisker for the first run of the ball game.  Goldsmith followed with a towering shot that soared out of Haggerty. For the future Pitt punter, it was his ninth home run of the season and he has driven in a team high 41 RBI.

“I had a good day at the plate today,”: said Goldsmith. “On the three-run bomb, I knew he was going to try to pitch me inside. I just got underneath it and it went out. The whole team has hit so well this year, that we all kind of feed off of each other. I owe some of my success to our whole team hitting so well.”

The Mustangs added three more in the second to make it 7-0. St. Rita’s largest lead was 11-2 after five innings. The never-say-die Caravan scored three times in the bottom of the seventh before succumbing to the top-ranked Mustangs.

Shepski (4-1) battled on the mound for St. Rita, scattering seven hits and allowing one earned run in his solid 5.2 inning start for the Mustangs. It was the future Fighting Irish hurler’s first start of the 2014 season.

“We were coming off of a real tough loss against Brother Rice so we knew we had to come out and play well against a very good Mount Carmel team,” said Shepski. “It was my first start of the season. I threw a slider today for the first time this season and it really was my best pitch today. I haven’t faced a lot of lefty’s at the plate, so it was nice to get some hits from the right side today. I’ve been swinging the bat well from both sides of the plate this season. We have to come out big on Saturday and maybe we can be CCL-Blue outright champs.”

The fleet-footed sophomore Mustang leadoff man Danny Gleaves was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Senior catcher Nate Soria had a fine game behind the plate for the Mustangs and had a pair of singles and an RBI.

Mount Carmel (21-6; 11-4) was led by junior Nick Wheeler was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Michigan-recruit junior second baseman Ako Thomas was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

“Good win on the road. We were a little short on pitching today and Jake (Shepski) did a great job on the mound for us in the starter’s role,” said St. Rita head coach Mike Zunica. “Goldy got us started with the big three-run homer in the first inning and has had a super year for us. Shane Peisker is one heck of a  baseball player.”

The two clubs will conclude CCL-Blue play at 7740 South Western Avenue at St. Rita on 11. With a win, St. Rita will do no worse than a share of the CCL-Blue crown with St. Laurence. The Vikings will entertain Brother Rice (22-9; 11-4) at Viking Field in Burbank, on Saturday at 11. 

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