Madonna Makes Most Of Chances

WHEELING – It was just one of those days for Bishop Donahue.

While some of the talk after Monday’s West Virginia Class A sectional baseball opener, won 11-1 by Weirton Madonna in five innings, was the Blue Dons getting the big hit in key situations, a closer look reveals the Blue Dons had plenty of help.

Sure, Chris Duerr did rip a two-run triple in the first to score the first two runs, and later, Nick Ossman rapped a two-run single for the last two, but nearly everything else was gift-wrapped by the boys in green and gold.

Two of Madonna’s runs scored on errors, another came on a bases-loaded walk and two more came in on sacrifice flies, meaning the big hits weren’t always there.

”We struggled a little bit in the field and put our pitchers in a bind,” Bishops coach Dan Angalich said. ”You can’t give a team like Madonna more than three outs in an innning. And that’s what we did.”

In the end, though, they all count the same and Madonna grabbed the upperhand in the sectional, while the Bishops are looking at battling their way out from the loser’s bracket.

Madonna and Wheeling Central will play at 5 today back at the I-470 Complex.

”We wanted to come out, get a good start, put some runs on the board and see how (Bishop Donahue) would respond to that pressure,” Madonna coach Jeff Baire said. ”We did a good job of that.”

Indeed.

With one out in the first, Chris Perna walked ahead of a Logan Linder being hit by a pitch. An out later, Duerr, a right-hander, ripped his triple down the right-field line for the first two. Daniel Pietranton followed that with an RBI single to right.

The Bishops got one back in the bottom of the frame when Garrett Yurisko walked and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. But there were two on and two out when Madonna third baseman Ossman gloved a screaming liner to third by Zach Whitfield that could have tied the game had it gotten through.

”In the first inning, we had a shot,” Angalich said.

Madonna then sent 10 to the plate in the second, though it had just three hits in the frame – all singles. In four consecutive at-bats, there was an error and three straight walks. And the inning ended on a double play.

Suddenly, Madonna led 9-1.

”There were some plays we could have made and we were having some control problems and gave them a few extra outs … ” Angalich said. ”It’s tough down 9-1 against a quality team like that.”

It stayed that way until the fifth, when Duerr and Nick Battista walked and were on when Ossman came through with his two-run single.

The Bishops loaded the bases in the top of the fifth but left all three there, part of a night in which it stranded nine.

”That was the difference,” Angalich said.