After Newman’s game-winning home run in the seventh inning snapped an eight-game winning streak earlier in the week, St.Charles Catholic couldn’t wait to see the Greenies again.
The Comets (15-5, 1-1) avenged their loss on Tuesday by running away with a 7-1 win over Newman in a District 12-2A game at Avenger Field on Thursday afternoon.
“To feel the win right at your fingertips and have it snatched away like that was tough for our guys,” St. Charles Catholic coach Wayne Stein said. “Our mindset was to just put that behind us and come in today and put as much pressure on them as possible and I think we did that in the end.”
St. Charles starting pitcher Brennan Gilberti (6-0) was dominant on the mound the majority of Thursday and came up clutch once his dominance faded late in the game.
After giving up a single to Newman’s Jack Miller in the Greenies’ first at-bat, Gilberti proceeded to retire 14 consecutive Newman (9-6) hitters before he walked Hutson Sumrall to open the sixth inning.
The senior allowed Calder Schmidt to give the Greenies their only run of the game on an RBI single in the sixth, and it appeared Newman was on its way to doing more damage once it loaded the bases later in the inning, but Gilberti got things back under control and ended the inning with a double play.
“We really wanted to play well after the way things ended on Tuesday,” said Gilberti, who threw a complete seven innings and allowed one run on four hits.
“I just wanted to give my defense a chance to make plays, and they did a great job of supporting me.”
The Comets grabbed an early 2-0 lead despite not registering a hit in the first four innings, and once Newman removed starting pitcher Cass Lapeyre, St. Charles got things going at the plate and took control.
After Lapeyre walked back-to-back hitters in the fifth, Newman went with Jack Miller in relief of the senior, and the Comets immediately pounced with an RBI double by Dane Authement and an RBI sacrifice bunt by Zack Weber.
Two batters later, Justin Loupe belted a soaring two-run triple that crashed against the right-field fence and gave the Comets a commanding 6-0 lead.
“Our guys did a great job staying patient at the plate and jumping at the chances once they got them,” Gilberti said. “But you have to give Newman a lot of credit, those guys kept fighting all the way until the end, and they’re a really good team.”
After opening district play with four games against arguably its toughest competition in 12-2A — Riverside Academy and St. Charles — Newman’s record in district sits at 2-2, and coach Trey Guillot said his team needs to learn from this stretch in order to finish the season strong.
“We started with a tough stretch, and we obviously wanted to win every game,” Guillot said. “But we just have to learn from our mistakes and keep improving as we get deeper into district.”