The (1A) Bishop Hendricken Hawks went to McCoy Stadium and swept the (1B) La Salle Academy Rams during Games 1 and 2 of the 2019 Baseball Division I Championship best-of-three series on Monday and Tuesday evening.
Hawks sophomore third baseman Colin Lemieux drove in the game-winning runs during both games and earned the Chet Nichols Division I MVP Award.
The infielder hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth in a 1-0 win of Game 1 before belting an RBI single in the top of the seventh in a 4-3 Game 2 victory.
“It’s my first year on varsity as a sophomore and I just wanted to back up my teammates with all the hits I could get,” Lemieux explained.
With the triumph, Hendricken completes a perfect season, finishing with a final record of 23-0.
“This whole team has been working as a team from Day 1 and I truly think that we deserve this,” Lemieux said. “We all worked as hard as we could the whole season, so I’m very thankful for this.”
Blake Roberge, a senior, started for the Hawks in Game 1 and struck out four batters in a 3-hit shutout win.
Then, in Game 2, senior Randy Reyes started and tossed four innings and struck out four in a no-decision before he was relieved by Christian Tejada, a senior, who struck out two, and then, junior Brad Lombardi, who fanned four and earned the win.
La Salle took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third of Game 2 when with Roger Marano on second, Andrew Florio, a junior, blasted an RBI single to center field and scored the runner.
In the fourth, the Rams added to their edge when Jordan Griffin, a senior, belted a leadoff triple to right field before Jacob Gaudreau drove him in with a sacrifice fly and made it 2-0.
Nonetheless, Hendricken cut the deficit to 2-1 in the sixth when with the bases loaded and none out, A.J. Guindon, a junior, rocketed the ball by the first baseman and plated Matt Smaldone from third.
Next, Kevin Gower, a senior, hit a two-run single to center and scored both Lemieux and Xavier Quezada, while giving the Hawks a 3-2 advantage.
It was only a matter of time before the Hawks got on the scoreboard, Hendricken manager Ed Holloway felt.
“We have a good team and we just had to get breaks and everything,” Holloway said. “And we got great pitching from everyone and we got some timely hitting. It was a great job by the entire team.”
La Salle knotted the game at 3 in the bottom of the sixth when David Marchetti, who led off the inning and was hit by a pitch, scored during a passed ball.
Then, in the seventh frame, Hendricken senior David Bordieri led off with a double.
Next, La Salle intentionally walked Matt Venuto, which put runners at the corners.
That’s when Lemieux hit the RBI single to left, which put the Hawks up 4-3.
While Hendricken earned the sweep, the series was anything but easy.
“The whole series was pretty tough,” Lemieux said. “La Salle is a great team and so are we. So, we both battled it out and this is what happened.”
The championship win has to feel extra satisfying for a Hawks team that came up a little short last year.
“It feels great,” Holloway said. “They were focused. We talked about getting back here this year because we didn’t think we finished the job last year, and they’ve been focused all year. Every game, they never gave up. We had numerous times where we came back late in games and today was another example.”