By Joseph Staszewski
Aaron Acosta made a promise while playing third to a group of St. Francis Prep parents behind the fence near the base. The Terriers’ offense was struggling in a tight game against McClancy. Acosta vowed to change that.
“I was joking with one of the parents,” he said. “I said, ‘Don’t worry. I’m going to do something.’”
Acosta made good on his promise. He delivered an RBI double deep to left field to bring home Taso Stathpoutos as the go-head run to put the Terriers up for good in the top of the sixth. Starter Dylan Lawrence stranded two runs in the seventh to close out a 2-1 win over the host Crusaders in CHSAA Class AA baseball Monday afternoon.
“I went up there with confidence and I got the hit,” Acosta said. “I pointed to the [parents]. They were having a blast.”
Lawrence was superb despite the lack of offense. The junior righty tossed a three-hitter, allowing just one unearned run, striking out five and walking two. He worked out of jams all game, bearing down when he needed to most.
“I feel like every pitch matters,” Lawrence said. “Every pitch has to be good, no mistakes, don’t leave anything up.”
Bob Perretti gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead with an RBI-single in the first inning. McClancy tied the score in the third thanks to an RBI-ground-out from Josh Ockimey. The St. Francis Prep lead appeared in jeopardy in the sixth. McClancy’s Mike Libasci dropped a soft single into shallow centerfield.
Xavier Susana quickly fielded the ball and threw a perfect strike home to cut down the potential tying run. The Terriers’ bench had the utmost confidence he would get the job done and move them to 4-0 in the league.
“He has a great arm,” SFP Coach Brother Robert Kent said.
McClancy headman Nick Melito said it was the right decision to send the runners there with two outs and Lawrence pitching so well. He praised his own hurlers, starter Brian Hughes and Ockimey, who came on in relief to keep the Terriers’ lineup to just six hits. They got the one that counted, though.
“Give them credit,” Melito said. “They got the hit when they needed it. It was close.”