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It's 'Lumber and Leather' for No. 1 Dons

04/14/2014, 11:04pm PDT
By John Maffei

Cathedral Catholic survives best shot from No. 3 Vista in Lions Tournament


Cathedral Catholic shortstop Sean Bouchard was clutch with the glove and the bat in the Dons' win over Vista.

LIONS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

“Lumber and Leather” is the rallying cry for the Cathedral Catholic High baseball team this season.

In the first day of bracket play in the 64th annual Lions Tournament on Monday, Dons shortstop Sean Bouchard drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh and wowed the crowd with his defense as host Cathedral edged Vista 7-6.

Trailing 6-3 with two out and no one on in the top of the seventh inning, Vista (11-4) — the No. 3-ranked team in the San Diego Section — got an infield single from James Egan, a double from Korey Lee and a game-tying three-run homer from pitcher Austin Ott.

“The last three outs are the toughest to get,” said Cathedral coach Gary Remiker. “But I liked the way my guys responded against a quality opponent.”

Top-ranked Cathedral (14-1) countered with a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Ott then gambled on the lead runner on a sacrifice-bunt attempt and missed, setting the stage for Bouchard. The senior promptly singled to right, driving in the winning run.

Ott threw 133 pitches, allowed 11 hits, walked eight and struck out 11, relying heavily on a change-up and curve.

“Ott threw me a first-pitch curve for a strike,” Bouchard said. “So I was looking fastball. But he threw me a curve, and it wasn’t his best one.

“All I was thinking was ‘Leather and Lumber,’ drive the ball to the outfield. Pick up the team.”

Bouchard made two impressive plays at shortstop, twice robbing Ott of hits.

Second baseman Andrew Wilson and third baseman Gio Garbella also robbed Panthers hitters.

“Sean made some great plays and he’s only going to get better,” Remiker said. “He’s still maturing as a player.”

Cathedral pitcher Jonathan Pendergast gave up three runs in the first with Matt Ornelia driving in all three with a bases-loaded double.

Pendergast didn’t allow another hit until the sixth. He got the first two hitters in the seventh before Vista struck to tie the game.

“The home run was on a curve that didn’t break,” Pendergast said. “That was hard to take, but I’ve been around a while and knew I had to gather myself and get the next guy to give my team a chance.

“We’re in a really tough bracket in an important tournament. Pitching is at a premium, so the complete game was important to give us a chance the rest of the week.”

In today’s games, Cathedral Catholic hosts Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley and Vista hosts Granite Hills. Both begin at 3 p.m.

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