They came up just short.
The Xaverian baseball team couldn’t get that one big moment, struggling to find consistency at the plate as the Clippers fell 2–1 to Archbishop Molloy in a Catholic League battle on Tuesday afternoon.
“We have six, seven hits in the game and they get just two or three and win,” Xaverian coach Frank Del George said. “That’s baseball. What are you going to do? It’s a timing thing.”
The Clippers got on the board first, notching a run in the third inning as the top of the order managed to make contact. Leadoff hitter Jared Lerner connected on a first-pitch single and crossed home on a Luke McDonald sac fly.
But it wasn’t enough and Xaverian knew it left runs on the field.
The Clippers stranded a handful of runners throughout the league matchup, including a pair in the first inning that Del George said he thought could have turned the tide of the game.
“We had our chance in the first inning. We had him on the ropes,” Del George said. “It’s [Ruben] Jimenez, we know he’s a pretty good pitcher, so if you get to him early, you might put a few numbers on the board and that might hold up for the rest of the game. But we let them off the hook.”
Xaverian starter Christian Allegretti did his best to keep his squad in the game, turning in a solid five-inning performance. He worked his way out of a handful of jams – including bases loaded pickle in the bottom of the third – but a miscue in the fifth inning cost him.
Allegretti gave up the game-winning hit off Molloy’s Jack Turner with two outs in the bottom of the frame, unable to field the ball after it bounced off his glove. The hit pushed across two runs for the Stanners and effectively took the wind out of the Clippers’ sails.
“I just feel bad for the pitcher because he threw a very good game, he got out of some clutch situations,” Del George said. “Unfortunately it went off his glove and the second baseman can’t knock it down, make a play. Next thing you know, two runs score. It’s just frustrating.”
Xaverian still had a chance to make a comeback, but Tom Papadopoulos was left stranded on third base in the bottom of the sixth, unable to cross home after connecting on a single and stealing a pair.
It was a common theme for the Clippers all afternoon — missed opportunities and almost-there moments.
“The offense is really not helping [the pitchers] out at all,” Del George said. “You start second-guessing yourself and now I’m starting to think about our four and five hitters lay down bunts instead of swinging the bats.”
It’s early in the season, but Xaverian is still frustrated with play across the board. The squad is coming up short in too many close games and Del George is certain, if something doesn’t change soon, these are the matchups they’ll regret down the line.
“It’s early in the season. But you know what happens when you get later on? Remember that game against Molloy, if we only would have won that game,” he said. “You start looking back at the games you should have won. They start eating away at you.”