Cathedral Prep falls to Nazareth after sloppy defense

By Patrick McCormack

It was a day of missed opportunities for Cathedral Prep of Elmhurst.

The Crusaders baseball team had a chance to move into second place in the CHSAA Class A division, but fell to Nazareth 3-0 at American Legion Field in Brooklyn May 15.

“We had had an opportunity to get a hold of second place, to get a first round bye. We have beaten Nazareth before,” Cathedral Prep Coach Rolando Lopez said. “We just didn’t come out with the hunger and the desire to take it. We expected it to happen because we beat them before.”

Nazareth used its speed and took advantage of Cathedral’s mistakes in the victory. The Kingsmen (8-4) scored all three of their runs without recording a base hit. The Crusaders’ sloppy play, which allowed two runs to cross home plate on a throwing error and a wild pitch, proved costly. The third run came in on a squeeze play in the first inning.

Shortstop Danny DeBiase said the team’s biggest issue was staying focused while trying to even the score.

“We need to work on when we’re down, keeping our heads in the game and continuing to keep pressure on them,” he said.

The Crusaders (6-5) had opportunities to get on the board early, but left a runner on first in the first inning and a runner on second and third in the second. Then Kingsmen pitchers Shamariah McCullough and William Navarro, who combined to give up only one hit from the third inning on, shut them down.

Things have changed since Cathedral beat Nazareth 7–6 in their first meeting April 23 as part of a four-game winning streak. The Crusaders had been looking strong. The loss to Nazareth is now the Cathedral Prep’s fourth-straight defeat.

“When we played them the last time, we were in the midst of a four-game winning streak,” Lopez said. “As a team we were hitting over .400, hitting our strides, everything looked good. Our pitching was good, our defense was good and we just wanted to prove that we belonged because everyone thought we would finish somewhere near the bottom.”

But things have taken a turn for the worst since then. They faced a play-in game May 22 to get into the CHSAA playoffs. If they win, they will have a shot to contend for the title, a goal that had appeared within reach at the start of the season.

“We had high hopes. We were 6-1, a half game out of first place,” Lopez said. “Right now we have lost four in a row. Right now we are looking to have a home game for our play-in game and try and get into the round robin tournament.”

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