St. Joe, St. Andrew both start playoffs tonight
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:00 PM
Both St. Andrews and St. Joseph will play the favorite in second-round MHSAA State Tournament baseball series starting today.
St. Joseph (15-9) will play host to Region 5-2A runner-up Enterprise (20-6), which defeated Mize by a combined score of 20-2 in the final two games of a first-round, three-game series last week. Mize beat them 12-7 in game one, but fell 12-0 and 8-2 in the last two games.
The Bulldogs have three pitchers who have combined to work 137.2 of the 175 innings they've played. Those three - senior Brady Bilello, junior Garrett Glenn and sophomore Noah Pogue - have a combined record of 16-4 and boast earned run averages of 1.36, 1.26 and 2.23, respectively.
As a team, Enterprise comes in with a .317 batting average, three home runs and a whopping 105 stolen bases in 26 games.
He rode down to see the 12-0 win over Mize, but St. Joe coach Miller Todd said that's about the extent of his knowledge on the Bruins' next opponent.
"I just know that they are 20-6 and they've been competitive in the games they have lost," Todd said. "They throw strikes and pound the zone and they are a senior-laden team."
Todd, who is in his final year at the helm of the baseball program before leaving to take the head football coach and athletic director position, said he'll go with Thomas Benson on the mound in the first game. Benson has a 5-2 record in nine starts with a 1.22 ERA.
"We've got home field going for us," Todd said. "We travel to them Friday, but we get them here in the other two games. In all honesty, everybody is good at this point. You just can't take anything for granted."
St. Andrew's hosts Raleigh in a best-of-three series that begins today. The Saints come in with a 20-7 record, including a 9-1 mark in Region 6-3A play that was good enough for a district title and a first-round bye.
The Saints are 10-2 at home, 10-4 on the road and are solid in all four phases of the game. As a team, they are hitting for a .345 average and get on base at a .464 clip. They've stolen 70 bases in 27 games, better than two a contest.
St. Andrew's pitchers have combined for a 2.44 earned run average in 27 games, and the defense is backing them up with a .924 fielding percentage, which is solid for a 3A team.
Thomas Wilson has led the charge at the plate. The senior has a team-high (among players with a significant amount of at-bats) .477 batting average, and has driven in 32 runs, second only to his fellow senior Connor Woodall's 33.
Wilson, Woodall and the rest of the Saints will have their hands full with Raleigh (13-8), which finished in second place in Region 5-3A, four games behind champion Southeast Lauderdale.
The Lions come in with a team average of .337 and just one home run, but they've stolen 88 bases in 21 games and field the ball at a .933 clip.