Baseball: Garrett O’Neill leads Brother Rice past Marist
Updated: April 17, 2012 11:06PM
Brother Rice produced just one hit and two baserunners Tuesday against Marist ace Mike Hearne.
Generally, that’s a recipe for defeat.
Fortunately for the Crusaders, their starting pitcher, Garrett O’Neill, was equally brilliant.
O’Neill, a right-hander, fired a three-hitter and struck out eight to carry host Brother Rice to a 1-0 victory over archrival Marist.
“I can’t say enough about O’Neill,” said Crusaders coach Johnny McCarthy, whose team improved to 13-5. “He put the game on his shoulders and took us home.”
If not for a dropped third strike in the second inning, Hearne would have been perfect through five. Instead, the Notre Dame recruit had to settle for holding Brother Rice hitless until Redic Richardson started the bottom of the sixth with a double.
Kevin McDonnell sacrificed pinch-runner Dan Roche to third before No. 9 hitter Dan Ohde, who had struck out on three pitches in his only previous at-bat, hit a sacrifice fly that brought home the game’s only run.
Richardson, who had struck out in his only other at-bat against Hearne, hammered a first-pitch curveball down the left-field line.
“I wanted to be aggressive,” said Richardson, a junior. “I was just looking for anything in the strike zone.”
No. 4 Marist (14-4) didn’t go down without a fight in the seventh. The RedHawks had runners on first and third with two outs. O’Neill, however, caught Jim Carroll looking at a heater to end the game.
For O’Neill, the victory was especially sweet. The senior was a member of the Crusaders basketball team that lost two games to the RedHawks this past season.
“This win means everything in the world,” said O’Neill, who threw 102 pitches. “It was a must-have win for us. We’ve been winning games, but we haven’t had that signature win until now.”
Hearne, a lefty, struck out eight and needed just 58 pitches to complete six innings. Conor Funk, Ryan Meyer and Hearne recorded the lone hits off O’Neill.
“This was a fun game,” Marist coach Tom Fabrizio said. “Two teams battling hard for seven innings. Mike’s our horse, and he kept us in the game.”