Paul VI Squeaks By Hylton

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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Woodbridge-A rare matchup between a top private school and top public school took place on a nice spring evening. No. 13 Paul VI Catholic entered the game riding a consecutive losses after ascending to the top spot in the Power 25. No. 12 C.D. Hylton came into the game riding an eight game win streak after dropping its opener. The Bulldogs sent senior Trey Shepard (Walters State CC) to the mound and the Panthers countered with senior Jack Cunningham (Boston College).

Both pitchers worked perfect first innings and Paul VI was the first team to threaten in the game as junior catcher Michael Morgan (James Madison) led the top of the second off with a single and quickly stole second. After a flyout to left, Shepard issued a pair of walks to load the bases with one out. He was able to collect himself and got consecutive strikeouts to end the inning and the threat. For velocities and scouting information on Shepard and Cunningham, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog later this week.

The bottom of the second saw the Bulldogs knock on the door as well as junior catcher Richard Ortiz ripped a double to deep left. Senior first baseman Christian Colangelo (Mary Washington) singled to left and Ortiz’s courtesy runner got thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning, which ended after the next batter when Shepard struck out.

Senior third baseman Clayton Baine (Radford) led the top of the third off with a hit by pitch and stole second as well. The next batter attempted to sacrifice and Colangelo made a diving attempt to catch the ball in the air but came up just short, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Cunningham helped his own cause, hitting a sacrifice fly to deep left to drive in Baine and open the scoring. The threat ended abruptly as Ortiz gunned down a runner at second and Shepard got a ground out to end the inning.

The bottom of the third saw senior rightfielder Blake Coleman (Maryland Eastern Shore) lead off with a sharp single to left. He was bunted over to second and then thrown out trying to advance to third on centerfielder Ben Marotske’s (Randolph Macon) ground ball to short for the second out. After a hit by pitch moved Marotske into scoring position, senior shortstop Fox Semones (James Madison) punched a single through the infield to tie the game at 1. After a walk, Cunningham was able to get a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the inning with the score tied at 1.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth innings saw the Bulldogs mount rallies, but fail to cash any runs in, leaving five runners on base while piling up five hits and a walk during those three innings. Junior Graeme Wright entered the game to pitch the sixth inning and worked around a few baserunners to post a zero. On the other side of things, Shepard got into a groove and was dominant during those three innings, allowing no hits while striking out eight batters and walking two.

Fox Semones came in from shortstop to relieve Shepard in the top of the seventh and worked a scoreless inning. Hylton mounted a threat in the bottom of the seventh, placing runners on the corners with two outs before Wright was able to get Colangelo to fly out to deep right to send the game to extra innings.

The top of the eighth started harmlessly as Semones continued his dominance with a strikeout to open the inning. Cunningham then flared a single to short and Morgan singled to center. After a daring double steal put both runners in scoring position, Semones issued a careful walk to load the bases with one out. After getting senior shortstop Michael Coritz (Naval Academy) to fly out to shallow left for the second out, Semones issued a bases-loaded walk, bringing in Cunningham and giving Paul VI the lead. The inning would end there and the Panthers would head to the bottom of the seventh, leading 2-1.

Coritz came in to pitch and try to lock down the save and end Paul VI's short losing skid. He struck out the side quickly to end the game and Hylton’s winning streak.

On the mound for the Panthers, Cunningham finished with a no decision, going 5 IP, 1 R, 8 H, BB, HBP, 6 K. Wright picked up the win going 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, BB, 2 K. Coritz earned the save with 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 K. Offensively for the Panthers, Morgan went 2-4 with 2 SB. Will Salva went 0-1 with 3 BB, RBI. Cunningham went 1-3 with a SB, SAC, RBI, and a run scored. Paul VI has a busy week ahead, with WCAC games against Bishop McNamara, DeMatha, and St. Mary's Ryken.

For the Bulldogs, Shepard didn’t factor in the decision and worked 6 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 4 BB, HBP, 10 K. Semones took the loss, going 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Offensively for Hylton, Christian Colangelo went 3-4. Semones went 2-4 with an RBI and a SB. Blake Coleman went 2-3 with a BB. Hylton has two more games remaining this week, Freedom (Woodbridge) and a big showdown Friday against conference rival Forest Park.



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