In a battle between the two remaining unbeaten teams in District 6-5A, a three-run third inning propelled Northshore to a 8-2 win over St. Paul’s on Saturday afternoon at Heap Field.
Scoreless after two innings, Northshore (12-8, 4-0) pushed across three runs on three hits in the top of the third.
Eli Dubuisson drew a one-out walk. Advancing to second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch, Dubuisson scored on an RBI single by Josh Marques. After a single by JP Lagreco, Parker Morris drew a walk. JD Evans drove in Marques with an RBI single and Blake Way drove in Lagreco with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
The Panthers added a pair of insurance runs an inning later behind a wild pitch, hit batsman an RBI single by Lagreco.
St. Paul’s (9-8, 3-1) pushed across a pair of unearned runs in the fifth, but Lagreco again drove in a run an inning later with his third hit of the game to make it 6-2 Northshore.
“Right now for us it seems like hitting is really contagious,” Lagreco said. “When one guy starts hitting, everybody really gets going and everybody wants to make their contribution at the plate. It’s fun to play baseball when everybody in the lineup seems to be hitting the ball well.
“It is hard to describe, but right now we are just coming together and gelling as a team. I can’t point out a specific reason why or anything like that. We are just having fun on the baseball field every day.”
Lagreco and right-fielder Hunter McGoldrick were the leading hitters for the Panthers, each collecting three hits.
“Our goal is to try and run the table in this district,” Lagreco said. “We are trying to do that and thus far have been successful in trying to complete that mission.”
Blake Way’s two-run homer to left field in the seventh extended the lead to 8-2.
While the Northshore offense pounded out five runs, the Panthers got a sterling performance on the mound from Gary Cavallo. Picking up the complete-game win, Cavallo (3-2) allowed only two unearned runs on four hits, striking out two and walking only one.
“The No. 1 job of a pitcher is to just throw strikes and let your defense do the work,” Cavallo said. “It is crazy we are still unbeaten in a very good district. I feel like we are sending a message that we are team that is going to have a very good year. I have to credit my offense for getting me runs to work with. Pitching with a lead helps out a lot. It is so much easier and makes your job so much easier as a pitcher.”
Austin Barrios (4-1) was the losing pitcher for St. Paul’s, going five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking three.
Northshore returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Hammond while St. Paul’s travels to take on Covington.