Soria, Mustangs edge Marist
Updated: May 23, 2011 5:14PM
St. Rita’s center-field fence is 370 feet away from home plate.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and Marist leading St. Rita 2-1 Sunday, Mustangs hitter Joe Filomeno hit a blast to dead center that went 370 feet and a couple inches. The couple inches weren’t enough, as RedHawks centerfielder Bryan Polak leapt the fence and brought the potential game-tying home run ball back.
So what does the next hitter for St. Rita, Stefano Belmonte, do with the Mustangs down to its last hitter?
He hits the ball 370 feet over the left field fence, which is only 350 feet away, and the Mustangs went on to win 3-2 in nine innings on Zach Soria’s two-out RBI single.
“I thought Joe’s hit was 100 percent over the fence and I was pretty devastated, but we came back,” Belmonte said. “When you make that solid contact with the ball and it keeps going, it’s probably one of the best feelings in the world.”
St. Rita (28-6) went up 1-0 when pinch runner Mike Zunica scored on a throwing error by Marist shortstop Ryan Mayer.
In the top of the fourth inning, after retiring nine Marist hitters in a row, Filomeno walked Meyer and Polak and John McKevitt laced a two-out single to tie the score at 1.
Polak gave Marist (15-19) a 2-1 lead with a two-out single in the top of eighth on a single, scoring Jayson Gorski. Polak added to his heroics, robbing Filomeno of the game-tying homer in the bottom of the frame, but Belmonte tied it one batter later to keep the game alive.
After walking with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Connor McLain stole second and, with the ball leaking into center field on the throw, moved to third with two outs. Down to his last strike, Soria singled over Polak’s head in center for the game-winning run.
“I don’t know why they were playing me in, but they did and I got it over his head,” Soria said. “We’re going to make other teams work to get that last out.”