Recapping Toledo St. John's vs. St. Ignatius


By Chris Check
Northeast Ohio Scout

No. 4 Toledo St. John's proved that they are a force to be recognized over the past weekend after a great showing at the Ohio Jesuit Tournament after defeating last year’s Division I runner-up and perennial power No. 5 St. Ignatius 8-4 on Saturday.  

St. John's used six hits to plate six first inning runs then played a solid all-around game to hold off the Wildcats of St. Ignatius.  Sophomore designated hitter Sam McClurg had a huge day going three for four with four RBI’s and a big seventh inning home run to extend a tight two run lead to four in the last inning. 

Junior shortstop Devon Garcia (Ohio recruit) led off the game with a hard ground ball which was misplayed by the Wildcat shortstop.  Senior second baseman Ethan Kirkman singled to right and junior left fielder TJ Lake walked to load the bases.  Senior catcher Mike Barrett singled to left to plate Garcia with the game’s first run. Then McClurg singled to center field to plate Kirkman and Lake.  After an out, junior right fielder John Freisner doubled down the left field line, scoring Barrett and McClurg. After the Titans strung together back-to-back singles, Freisner eventually scored on a passed ball.

All runs were scored off Wildcat starter MJ Nara, who went three innings, in an unusually poor outing.  

St. Ignatius came right back in the bottom of the first scoring two off St. John starter left-hander Collin Korte. The Cats used walks by senior right fielder Nick Longo, senior center fielder Nick Fabian, and senior Joe Khoury and a big one out, line drive single to left by junior catcher Alex Panstares. 

Trailing 6-2, the Wildcats stranded Panstares and junior Kurt Mantus who reached on a hit batsman.  The Wildcats eventually left 10 runners on base throughout the seven inning game, having had a runner on base every inning.

The game settled after a scoreless second inning. 

St. Ignatius cut the lead in the bottom of the third after Khoury doubled to deep right center and consecutive walks were followed by senior Quillen Austria’s one out sacrifice fly to right field. 

St. Ignatius again chipped at the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a leadoff home run to right field by Mantus.  Right handed senior Nolan Silberhorn then came in relief for St. John's and kept St. Ignatius at bay the rest of the game even though the Wildcats continued to threaten with base runners every inning. 

McClurg’s seventh inning home run came off Ignatius reliever Shane Skuhrovec who was into his third inning of quality relief work. 

St. John lost the trophy game to No. 1 ranked Walsh Jesuit in extra innings on Sunday but definitely established themselves as a top tier Division I team in the process.

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