Paul VI and Bishop McNamara will meet for the WCAC Championship. Both teams took the first two games of their series to advance to a three-game series beginning Friday night at the University of Maryland.
Bishop McNamara, who entered the tournament as a No. 8 seed, knocked off top-seeded St. John's in the quarterfinals and continued their unlikely run on Tuesday. The Mustangs defeated St. Mary's Ryken in two consecutive games to reach the finals Friday. On Tuesday, Connor Hax threw a one-hitter and Brad Sullivan had two hits as McNamara defeated St. Mary's Ryken, 5-0. On Monday, McNamara beat Ryken 6-1.
The Mustangs will face Paul VI this weekend for the WCAC title. During the regular season, Paul VI won both meetings, and the Panthers will be looking to win another title for their head coach, Billy Emerson, who is in his last season as the PVI coach.
Paul VI was able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead against Good Counsel Tuesday. Blake Banet and Lucas Martinez were both credited with RBI singles after their teammates advanced on wild pitches.
Good Counsel got themselves into trouble beginning in the third inning. After giving up consecutive singles, Good Counsel’s Collin McGowan walked Martinez to load the bases. Senior Mark Gunst came to the plate and knocked into two more runs on a hard hit ground ball that could not be fielded by the Good Counsel shortstop.
PVI added two more runs in fourth off of a Mitchell Aker homerun. His blast to left-center field gave the Panthers a commanding 6-0 lead.
Good Counsel refused to give up, however, rallying to get themselves back into the game in the fifth inning. As two batters got to base on walks, Danny Marinson was finally able to get the Falcons on the board with a RBI double. He was later able to score on a single provided by Kevin Doherty.
Good Counsel made it a 6-3 ballgame after the fifth inning, but PVI padded their lead with two more runs off of a RBI single and sac fly to take a five-run lead into the bottom of the seventh.
The Falcons had the heart of their lineup ready for one final rally. With a man on second, Doherty came back to the plate and began the comeback with a RBI double to center field. PVI retired two Good Counsel batters to bring them down to their last out.
As the rival fans rose to their feet, closer Robert Newell notched two strikes on Casey Bulik. On the pitch that could have ended the game, Bulik hit a chopper down the third base line that was fielded but was thrown right of first base. Doherty was able to score on the wild throw to bring Good Counsel within three.
Newell then walked a batter to bring the tying run to the plate. Unfortunately, Ryan Marshall, who had struck out twice on the day, was unable to continue the comeback. A ground ball to first began the celebration for the Panthers.