The Archbishop Hannan Hawks apparently wanted some extra time to get ready for prom on Friday night.
Hannan scored 12 runs in the fourth inning to defeat Pope John Paul II 15-4 in five innings.
With the win, the Hawks (17-6, 7-2) clinched the District 10-2A championship, their first since joining Class 2A.
The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“It was a perfect storm for a bad night,” Hannan coach Chris Yeager said. “You come off of a big win over (Pope John Paul II) on Wednesday night (22-1) and then you combine that with our prom happening after this game (Friday night). You really worry about a letdown with our squad not respecting our opponent and then going to prom after the game.
“That didn’t happen. We came out and we were focused. We came out ready to play.”
The Hawks pushed across three runs in the second inning. Starting pitcher Timothy Ruffino got the Hawks on the scoreboard with an RBI double. Nick Lucido added a two-run double later in the inning to make it 3-0.
After scoring 15 runs in the third inning against Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, the fourth inning proved to be the big inning for the Hawks on Friday.
Hannan batted around twice in the inning, scoring 12 runs on six hits to make it 15-0.
In the big fourth, Lucido drove in two runs, Austin Knower had a single and drove in two runs, Andrew Barre had two hits and three RBIs, Nick Lagalante had an RBI single and Ian Distefano and Bryce Lauga each scored a pair of runs.
“To be honest, in the second inning Pope John Paul II started hitting the ball and it kind of woke us up as a team,” Barre said. “We responded with a big fourth inning and Timmy pitched a great game.
“Playing your best baseball headed into the postseason is what you want. We are on a seven-game winning streak heading into the playoffs. I like how this team is playing.”
Ruffino picked up the win. The freshman left-hander threw 4.2 shutout innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
“I felt comfortable out there this afternoon,” Ruffino said. “I trusted that my defense was going to make the plays behind me and they would hit the ball, no matter what. My job was to just go out there and throw strikes.”
With the playoff brackets being announced Sunday, the Hawks are expected to host a first-round playoff game.
“I think we are playing our best baseball of the season,” Yeager said. “We have had the time to put all the pieces in the right spots. I think it is all gelling at the right time and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”