Holy Cross’ Micky Toscano was smack in the middle of a baseball conundrum after the Tigers’ 14-13 nondistrict victory over Karr on Saturday.
Should Toscano, the pitcher, thank Toscano, the hitter, or vice-versa?
Toscano pitched three innings of shutout relief and then hit the game-winning home run to lead off the sixth inning.
During an afternoon in which crooked numbers crowded the scoreboard and the teams combined for 29 hits, Toscano’s long home run to left was only the game’s second extra-base hit.
Toscano’s home run came on a 2-2 fastball against Karr’s hard-throwing Tyree Thompson.
“I was just trying to get a hit, trying to stay inside the ball,” Toscano said.
“This was everything I expected,” Holy Cross coach Greg Battistella said. “That’s a heck of a ballclub over there … talented players and good coaching.”
Toscano (2-0) quieted Karr’s bats and running game after entering in the fifth, working out of a bases-loaded jam.
He allowed only one ball to escape the infield in three innings. The Cougars (7-4) had 16 base hits, including seven infield hits. Four of those were bunt hits.
“I just tried to keep them off balance,” Toscano said. “Fastball and curveball and mix it up.”
Holy Cross (14-8) started Chris Turpin, who will start Monday’s game. Turpin was on a 25-pitch limit and faced the minimum six hitters in two innings.
“Coaching hindsight is 20/20 and mine is cross-sighted,” Battistella said. “If I leave (Turpin) in the game, the game might have been in hand (with a 7-0 lead), then the wheels kind of fell off.”
Holy Cross twice scored six runs in the first inning and led 7-0 before watching as Karr scratched out a pair of runs in the third, before hanging seven in the fourth.
The Tigers responded with six more in their half of the fourth for a 13-9 lead. Karr tied with four runs in the top of the fifth.
Other than Toscano’s home run, Thompson was sharp. He pitched the final two innings for Karr, striking out three.
Tre’ Turner and Cyle Clayton led Holy Cross with three RBIs apiece. Turner had three hits and Clayton had a pair and a walk.
Kerry Bruce and D’Andre Williams both had three hits for Karr. Bruce had a double and two singles.
“Toscano was dynamite (Saturday),” Battistella said. “He was what we needed, a power pitcher who gets outs.
“We kept out composure,” he added. “I think I was the only one who got rattled.”