Brother Martin’s pursuit of Jesuit continues.
The Crusaders banged out 11 hits to back five innings of one-run pitching by starter Brennan Stuprich to record a 10-1 Catholic League victory against St. Augustine Tuesday night at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
Eight different Crusaders starters collected at least one hit with catcher Blake Bufkin and Stuprich stroking the big blows to propel Brother Martin to its fifth straight victory and ninth in 10 games with eight of those wins coming in District 9-5A play.
Brother Martin (23-5 overall, 8-3 in 9-5A) entered the game trailing Jesuit (21-8, 8-2) by one game. The Blue Jays played Rummel at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
Brother Martin will need another victory against St. Augustine (16-11, 5-6) in its regular-season finale scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Kirsch-Rooney and a loss by Jesuit against Rummel also scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at John Ryan to tie the Blue Jays for the Catholic League crown.
First baseman Tre Morgan, second baseman Ethan Moser and designated hitter Caden Nash each collected two hits and a RBI to pace the Crusaders hit parade off of three St. Augustine pitcher.
St. Augustine lost its third straight outing after having a six-game winning streak broken in a two-game sweep by Rummel.
The Purple Knights did total 10 hits, but scored only one run in stranding 12 base runners including the bases loaded in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
Stuprich (8-1) struck out three and walked three while allowing seven hits, but only one run before giving way to reliever Collin Ardon in the sixth.
Brother Martin led 1-0 entering the top of the fourth before erupting for five runs that featured five consecutive hits to open the inning. The uprising was highlighted by Bufkin’s three-run double that accounted for the first three runs.
Bufkin’s scalded a pitch inside the third base bag and down the left field line following singles by Morgan, Moser and right fielder Cole Stromboe.
Nash then followed an errant pickoff throw by St. Augustine starter Kenya Huggins (3-3) with a RBI-single into left field to score courtesy runner Ben Harris. Nash would score on a passed ball following a wild pitch and fly out.
The Crusaders tacked on four more runs in the sixth with a two-run triple by Stuprich representing the big blow. Morgan and Moser followed with RBI-singles.
Brother Martin opened the scoring by manufacturing an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Centerfielder Joe Delaney singled with one out, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a ground out to short by shortstop Brady Faust.