The Bishop Hendricken baseball team is used to taking an opponent’s best shot, so when Barrington came out fired up and took a 1-0 lead in Tuesday’s game at Ray Pepin Field, it was nothing new.
The Hawks absorbed the punch, minimized the damage and then went to work. When all was said and done, they had taken care of business again.
Hendricken put up four runs in the third inning and two in the second to get a lead, and starting pitcher Bobby Indeglia turned in an efficient complete-game performance as the Hawks moved to 3-0 on the season with a 7-1 victory.
“The kids just battled,” said Hendricken head coach Ed Holloway. “We had some good at-bats and we took advantage of some of their mistakes and ended up having a big inning. Bobby pitched well. It was a good win for us.”
Barrington came in with an 0-2 record, but didn’t look the part in the early going. Nathan Bannon legged out an infield hit with one out in the first, and Mark Hartmann followed with a ground ball up the middle that got through for a single. After both runners tagged up on a fly ball to center, Bannon scored when Reed Gamache mishandled a Justin Ridgell ground ball.
Indeglia got out of the inning without further damage, but the Eagles were still riding high. Ridgell got the start on the mound for the Eagles and worked a one-two-three first inning without throwing a pitch out of the strike zone. He also pitched a scoreless second.
But Hendricken started to turn the tide in the third inning.
Lou Umberto led off with a single up the middle. Rob Henry followed with a double-play ball to second, but after the Eagles got Umberto, the throw to first was off the mark. Henry scampered to second.
Rich Bacon then legged out an infield hit, and Gary Geisser brought Henry home with a sacrifice fly that tied the game.
With Billy Walker at the plate, Bacon took second on a passed ball. Walker then hit a high popup behind shortstop, and the wind blew it out of the reach of Ethan Studley. It fell in for a hit, and Bacon scored to make it 2-1.
Walker, who had taken second on the wind-blown hit, scored on a single by Indeglia, who promptly advanced to second on the throw home. An error put runners on first and third, before Gamache knocked home Indeglia to make it 4-1.
It wasn’t a powerful surge or a furious rally, but it did the job.
“We got some key hits, and we got lucky on some of them,” Holloway said. “You’ve got to have luck.”
The Hawks added two more runs in the fourth. Umberto led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Henry. Geisser plated Umberto with a single to right, then stole second and took third when the throw got away. Geisser scored on a wild pitch.
Hendricken tacked on one more run in the sixth. P.J. Murray reached on a two-base error, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Umberto.
Indeglia did the rest.
The senior right-hander allowed at least one base runner in six of the seven innings, but calmly got out of every bit of trouble. He scattered seven hits, struck out two and needed just 87 pitches to get through the complete game.
“He throws strikes and you’ve got to play defense with him,” Holloway said. “Overall I think we did a good job behind him.”
The Hawks made four errors but came through more often than not. They got out of a second-and-third jam in the third inning when Gamache fielded a ground ball and threw home to get Collin Fay into a rundown. The Hawks got the out at third to short-circuit the rally.
In the sixth, the Eagles put two men on with nobody out thanks to a single and an error, but Hendricken again took the wind out of their sails. Walker rifled a pickoff throw from his catcher spot to catch Matt McNair off first base. Indeglia then got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
“We made four errors but we made a lot of plays too,” Holloway said.
Nobody made more plays than Gamache, who handled 14 chances at third base. He was responsible for 12 of 21 defensive outs.
At the plate, the Hawks were led by Geisser, who went 1-for-2 with two RBI. Indeglia and Gamache added two hits each.
The win keeps Hendricken among a quickly dwindling number of undefeated teams in Division I. Hendricken is one of five, joining Cranston West, La Salle, North Kingstown and North Providence.
“We want to take one game at a time and win games that we need to win,” Holloway said. “This was definitely a game we needed to win, so this was a good one for us.”
Hendricken will return to action today for a 4 p.m. game against Toll Gate at Mickey Stevens.