Trinity Catholic Defeats Gainesville High on the Road
TC's Cade Hentz (left) & Mekai Griffin post-game.
- Gainesville, FL
By: Curtis Michaud
The Celtics boys baseball team reached double-digit wins on Wednesday, as they defeated the Gainesville Hurricanes (4-7), 14 to one on the road.
Head coach Tommy Bond and the Celtics (10-1) took the roughly hour-long drive to hand the Canes its seventh loss of the season. In just five innings, the Canes’ failed to put enough runs on the board to keep up with the opposition.
Although the two teams were nip and tuck through four, a scoring outburst at the top of fifth spearheaded the Celtics to victory.
The Canes trailed 3-1 entering the fifth inning and the scoring onslaught began. The Green and Gold scored a season-high 11 runs in the frame.
Senior Cole Stephens started Trinity Catholic off with a line-drive single, However, the pitcher was not able to finish the sequence after tripping on his way to first base. Brian Boyd took over the base-running and found his way to home plate after a couple of Canes’ errors.
The pitching for the Canes certainly struggled in fifth, after walking back-to-back batters following the score. Then, left fielder Mekai Griffin went up to bat and drilled a double bringing in an additional run to bring the score 5-1.
Griffin was perfect on the evening hitting 3-for-3, including two singles and a solo homer at the top of the first.
“My teammates helped me out a lot this game. I just tried to help the team as much as I could and ended up doing a great job as far as getting these hits,” said Griffin.
But junior lead-off hitter Cade Hentz highlighted the impressive scoring frame with a rocket into midfield. With the bases loaded, Hentz approached home plate with a fiery determination in his eyes.
The shortstop swung, and out-the-park it went. A grand slam increased the Canes’ deficit to 9-1 with one out. For Hentz, it was the first home run in his high school career. An incredible achievement by Hentz but the reaction by teammates as he walked into dugout, did caught the junior off guard.
“They gave me silent treatment, it was pretty funny,” said Hentz
The homer forced Canes’ head coach Chris Malphurs to a pitching change. However, the Celtics managed three more runs in the inning.
On the mound, Bond said Stephens’ ability to keep GHS away from base played a huge factor in the win.
“I just think Cole Stephens did a really good job on the mound for us tonight. He didn’t put too many guys which was huge for us because we really needed for him to come out and have a good outing,” said Bond.
At the bottom of the fifth, Canes was not able to muster any offensive momentum failing to cut the Celtics’ lead to under double digits. Stephens managed to get three quick outs to end the game as the mercy rule was put into effect.
“It has always been the mentality since the beginning of the season to put at least five runs every game. We surpassed that goal this game,” said Griffin.
Even though the Celtics tied their second highest point total on the year, coach Bond says the team needs to continue to work on capitalizing on early game opportunities.
“We had opportunities with runners on base and didn’t execute,” Bond continued. “Sometimes against good arms that’s the only shot you may get.”
Now, the 10-win Celtics look ahead to return home as they gear up to take on a formidable foe. The Villages Charter Buffalo head into Ocala looking to sweep Trinity Catholic on the season. The Buffalo defended home-field completing a 12-0 shutout against the Celtics earlier in the year.