The St. Paul’s Wolves defeated the Shaw Eagles 6-2 to open their season in the first game of the WGNO Baseball Classic at Zephyr Field on a chilly Thursday night.
“I was happy,” St. Paul’s coach Mike Nunez said. “We had a good approach at the plate. ... I’d like a little warmer weather, but it is what it is.”
Carlo Graffeo pitched five strong innings, giving up just two runs. Graffeo had only one strikeout, but kept the ball on the ground for the most part. He also drove in two runs.
“The main battle was against the cold,” Graffeo said. “But I just threw strikes, competed, and it got the job done.”
St. Paul’s struck first in the third inning when William Heurtin notched an RBI single. The Eagles came back to tie the game in their half of the third when a run scored on an error by the second baseman.
The Wolves’ bats came alive in he fourth inning. They batted around, sending 11 hitters to the plate for five runs on seven hits (including Graffeo’s two-run single) and one error to take a 6-1 lead.
All of St. Paul’s runs in the fourth inning came with two outs.
Shaw added another run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Caiden Reid. However, that was all the Eagles were able to muster, and they were blanked the rest of the way.
Bradley Yeager pitched scoreless relief over the final two innings, giving up just one hit and striking out the side in the seventh.
St. Paul’s had to battle against chilly temperatures before and during the game, but the Wolves seemed mostly unaffected by it.
“I mentioned before the game that it would come down to whether they were tough enough to endure the weather,” Nunez said. “They were tougher than me.”
St. Paul’s will next face John Curtis Patriots on March 3. Shaw will host West Ouachita on Friday.