John Marshall Sweeps Union Local

GLEN DALE – It wasn’t pleasing on the aesthetic side, but John Marshall baseball coach Bob Montgomery will take it.

The Monarchs got two solid, if not sometimes a bit rocky, pitching performances from seniors Trevor Hardesty and Schuyler Callihan in a sweep of visiting Union Local on Saturday.

Behind a gem from Hardesty, who scattered four hits and a first-inning run, John Marshall won the first game, 6-1, and then scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull out a 9-4 victory in the nightcap.

“Doubleheaders usually end in splits,” said Montgomery, who has been around long enough to know. “Any time you can get a pair, it’s a good thing. I’m pleased with that but we still have a way to go to get to where we need to be.”

It is a start.

And so were the pitching performances by Hardesty and Callihan.

Especially in the latter, when Callihan, who breezed through the first two innings, encountered some trouble in the middle innings, then fought back to earn a complete-game victory.

“I like the way he hung in there,” Montgomery said of the three-year letterman. “That’s what pitchers have to do. You are going to run into some rocky innings here and there and you have to work your way out of jams. I like the way he battled and worked his way out of several jams.”

The biggest was in the third, when he loaded the bases with one out but proceeded to induce Travis James to fly out to second and Triston Bruce to ground out to second to get out of the inning unscathed.

The Jets touched him up a bit in the fourth as Griffey Girty led off with a double and scored when Bobby Stewart reached on an error . Wayne Perkins delivered the second run with a double.

Even then Callihan pitched out of trouble.

He finished the evening stranding nine Jets with four strikeouts and one walk. He surrendered eight hits, two in the seventh.

Still, Union Local had a chance to get out with the split, taking a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Shane Smolenak scored on a single by Bruce.

The Monarchs, who had not been setting the world on fire offensively to that point, countered when, after a pair of key errors on the base paths, Quentin Blatt scored Nick Snyder with a two-out single.

The bottom of the sixth proved key, when the Monarchs sent 10 men to the plate and plated six runs. Hardesty broke the tie with a sacrifice fly but that was followed by three straight walks, two of which scored runs and the dagger, a three-run triple by Matt Zelic.

“We just made too many mental mistakes,” Jets coach Pec Smrth said. “That’s baseball.”

Union Local starter Girty was making his first varsity start, and, like his counterparts, did a good job of pitching around trouble.

“For his first time really making a varsity start, two runs and four hits over five innings, I’ll take it,” Smith said. “We didn’t do a good job of getting ahead in counts. I tell our guys, don’t worry about strikeouts, that’s not our thing. Throw strikes and trust your defense.”

Zelic had two hits and three runs batted in for John Marshall. Hardesty and Cullen Neely doubled and Nick Snyder had a single, a RBI and scored two runs.

Perkins had two doubles for Union Local and Smolenak two singles.

In the opener Hardesty went 2 for 3 with a single, double and two RBI. Jerreck Waldrum and Donovan Whipkey had a single and a double, Thad Herback two singles nad Jared Horan doubled.