CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Notre Dame enters postseason play with a 21-6 record, having won six straight games overall. The Irish picked up a significant win on Thursday of last week, beating neighboring Class AA Bridgeport 2-1 in 11 innings.
“For our program, it was a big game and a big win for us – and not just because it was Bridgeport with all they’ve accomplished in their rich tradition of baseball,” Notre Dame coach Patrick Marozzi said. “But for us realizing what type of game we need to win to be able to be state champion. That was the best high school baseball game I’ve ever seen.”
The Irish are led by a senior-heavy squad, including standouts Chris Petrucci and D.J. Murphy. Petrucci has put up a .347 battling average on the year with six doubles, two triples and 15 RBI – he’s also molded into the team’s closing role.
Petrucci recently signed with Marietta College and will continue to play baseball there. Murphy, meanwhile, has posted a .347 batting average with four doubles, a home run and nine RBI.
The Irish this year have had high expectations after the now-veteran group made it to the state tournament a season ago, falling to Magnolia 4-3 in the Class A semifinals.
“Our whole motto this past season is to finish,” Marozzi said. “We were three outs away from going to a state championship last year, and our whole season is to build on the word ‘finish’ – we want to get back to the state tournament, and we want to finish what we didn’t do last year. We are prepared as we possibly could be.”
Tuesday, Notre Dame begins a best-of-three series against South Harrison in sectional play.
“I expect them to be fully prepared, themselves, to play us,” Marozzi said. “They know us, we know them – we’re pretty familiar with each other.”
As for Class A Region 2 overall?
“It could be any of Pendleton County, East Hardy and Moorefield,” Marozzi said of some potential opponents in regional play. “Obviously, we would have to go on the road for both semifinal and finals, if we’re fortunate of getting there, so it’s not going to be easy.”
Hurricane waiting a week to begin sectionals:
The Redskins entered this week with a 21-5 record after routing Huntington back on Friday night, 21-1, totaling 15 hits in the win.
With two full weeks to complete sectional play, Hurricane has four regular season games scheduled in all for this week – after a 2-1 nine-inning setback to Logan on Monday night, Hurricane has remaining games this week against Logan again, South Charleston and George Washington before the regular season comes to a halt.
“Having of those games (this week), allows us to keep playing baseball and keep getting better and learning more about our team, and gets us prepared for the postseason,” head coach Brian Sutphin said. “We’re looking forward to playing and getting better learning every day.”
J.T. Rogoszewski continues to put up solid numbers for Hurricane on the mound, entering the week with a 5-1 record and 2.14 ERA in 39 1/3 innings – he has only walked seven batters on the year. Offensively, Rogoszewski has posted a .405 batting average.
Some other notable offensive numbers, senior Brandon Pauley is hitting .379, junior Trey Dawson has 28 RBI and a .375 batting average, while senior Alex Dunham has posted a .331 batting average.
“Fortunately for us, our guys have been together for a long time – grew up playing together and we’ve got a team with more junior and senior dominating lineup,” Sutphin said. “I think more than anything else, just getting prepared to play everyday, and therefore the more games you play, the more you get in those situations, the more you trust your training.”
Hurricane begins sectional play next week against Lincoln County.
Chapmanville rolls over Scott in game one:
Chapmanville defeated Scott 5-2 Monday night in the first sectional game of their best-of-three series. Brady Cox belted two home runs and collected all five RBI while Trey Dalton pitched a complete game, three-hitter.
The Tigers improved to 25-5 with the win.
Washington edges Musselman in Class AAA Region 2:
Washington snagged game one of sectional play against Musselman on Monday night, 9-8. Musselman (15-13) travels to Jefferson (28-4) Tuesday night, with Washington (19-4) facing Jefferson on Wednesday.