Brother Martin baseball coach Mark Wisniewski said it has been a “special run” for his group of seniors over the past four seasons, and it was only right that those seniors put on a show in their final regular-season home game Wednesday.
The Crusaders (17-6, 6-5) reeled off double-digit runs for the sixth time this season on the way to a 13-3 win over St. Augustine in six innings on senior night in a Catholic League game at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
“We’re excited about what this group has done, and we’re hoping they can take us to the Promise Land again,” Wisniewski said. “These guys have made deep runs into the playoffs throughout their tenure, and we’re just trying to get on a roll right now and see where it takes us.”
After losing three consecutive one-run games in District 9-5A, Brother Martin has bounced back by winning its past three games and appears to have gained some confidence with the Class 5A playoffs on the horizon.
The Crusaders conclude the season on the road against Catholic League-champion John Curtis on Thursday, and they said a win over the Patriots would be a major confidence boost heading into the postseason.
“They’re playing really well; that’s why they’ve obviously been able to lock up district already,” said Brother Martin outfielder Blair Frederick, an LSU signee. “If we beat them, we can get a few more power points and go into the playoffs on a really high note.”
An error by Brother Martin allowed St. Aug to score its first run in the third inning, and the Crusaders’ mistake gave the Purple Knights a boost of energy early.
Justice McCoy gave the Purple Knights their first lead by crushing an RBI triple to center field, and Dwayne McGill brought him home with an sacrifice fly that made it 3-1.
The Crusaders immediately responded in the bottom of the inning with six runs that began with a bases-loaded walk by Frederick and a sacrifice fly from Kevin Stretzinger. Michael Kirsch followed with a crushing a three-run home run over the left field wall to give Brother Martin a 6-3 lead.
The Crusaders added six runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and Grant Nicholosi’s bases-loaded walk in the sixth gave the Crusaders the decisive cushion and brought the game to an end.
“The pitcher left it a little bit high, and I got a really good swing on it,” said Kirsch, a Tulane signee. “I feel really comfortable now. I just had to step back, relax and let myself play a little bit. But it feels like everything is really coming together for us at the right time.”
St. Aug (10-16-1, 1-11) plays its season finale Thursday at East Jefferson.