Over a four-day stretch, the baseball team took two games from St. John the Baptist, one of the consistent powers in the Catholic High School Athletic Association.
On March 17, the Bears earned a 3-1 win in a scrimmage, thanks to a strong pitching committee that limited the Cougars to just five hits over seven innings. St. John’s struck first with a run-scoring single in the top of the 1st, but it proved to be the only run the Blue & White staff allowed. The Bears leveled the score in the bottom half when Aiden Ruiz walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch.
The Brook took the lead in the 4th when Seth Laureano smoked a double to center field before scoring on a two-out Isaiah Gibbs single. In the bottom of the 7th, which was not necessary but played because it was a scrimmage, Ruiz cracked a double to left that plated Jordan Serrano (walk) for the final margin. Nick Parker (1 K, 4 H, 1 ER), Chris Nell (1 H, 4 K), and Jayden Stroman (0 H, 6 K) all looked strong in their 2.0 innings of work. Serrano nailed down the 7th inning with 2 strikeouts in a hitless frame.
On March 20, the Bears and Cougars faced off again, this time in a non-league game at St. John’s that saw The Brook engineer a decisive victory. The Bears lit up the scoreboard in the first when Stroman doubled to right field, stole third, and scored on a Ruiz single. They hung a crooked number in the 2nd thanks to an RBI-single from Juju Martinez, a walk from Serrano, a Stroman single, and a Cougar error. With the bases loaded and two outs on the board, Stroman singled to score two, but a miscue by the third baseman brought the third baserunner and Stroman all the way around. When the dust cleared, the Bears held a 7-0 lead.
Franco looked strong in 5.0 innings of work, allowing just 2 hits while striking out 10. Alex Baaden struck out 3 and allowed 1 hit over the final two innings to cap the win.