Before every Redemptorist baseball game this season, coach Nick Hall tapes a motivational quote in the dugout that reads, “keep your chin up and play as hard as you can.”
Hall’s eighth-seeded Wolves played true to those words in Thursday night’s Class 2A bi-district round game, as they responded from an early deficit to beat No. 25 seed Fisher 14-3 in five innings.
“Our kids showed the ability to respond,” Hall said. “The ability to be able to bounce back in a playoff game like this is exceptional.”
It was not the ideal start for RHS as it fell behind in the top of the first inning on a single by Holden Fabre that scored two runs off of junior starting pitcher Blake Landry. But the Wolves quickly answered in the bottom half with 10 runs.
“We couldn’t overcome their offensive barrage,” Fisher coach Duane Foret said. “We had chances to get out of that inning with less damage but we just couldn’t make a play.”
With Fisher starting pitcher Nick Daniels struggling with his command and three errors by the defense behind him, Redemptorist sent 15 batters to the plate as part of the big inning. In his two at-bats in the inning, sophomore Connor Callihan came through in big spots on both occasions.
After starting the scoring barrage with an RBI single his first time up, Callihan’s came up again with the bases loaded and cleared them with a double to the wall in left field to give the Wolves a 7-2 advantage.
“It was just an explosive inning,” said Callihan who went 2-for-3 and led RHS with four RBIs and three runs. “I felt good at the plate and was able to come through.”
Caleb Nunez capped off the first inning with a double down the left-field line, scoring Callihan and Jacob Stagg.
“An inning like that is something I always dream about,” Callihan said.
After giving up the two runs in the first inning, Landry settled in on the mound to finish his complete game outing without much trouble. He allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three to improve to 6-0 on the year.
“He has been our bulldog pitcher all season,” Hall said of Landry. “We know that when he takes the mound that he is going to throw strikes.”
Despite the rough first inning, Foret let Daniels finish. The junior pitcher struck out two but allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits in his four innings. Five Fisher errors certainly did not help.
“When he made a pitch, they put the bat on the ball and made us pay for our errors,” Foret said. “We had to make plays behind him, and we couldn’t do it.”