By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published May 13, 2010
In the first game of the state baseball playoffs, round one, St. Pius X High School overcame an early two-run deficit to come from behind and defeat Morgan County High School, Madison, 12-2.
After a pitch hit Chad Mabini in the second inning, Pius center fielder George Kennedy doubled to put runners on second and third base. Catcher Jeff Gunn followed up with a deep base hit to score two runs and tie up the score at 2-2.
Right fielder Adam Hall kicked off a third inning rally for St. Pius when he doubled, and Mabini also doubled to give Pius a 3-2 lead. Left fielder Alex Avant grounded to the Morgan County second baseman, who committed a fielding error, and the fourth run scored. Senior second baseman Sloan Ruzicka hit the third double of the inning to give Pius a 6-2 lead before the inning was over. With singles by Kennedy, Gunn and Trey White, RBI singles by Andrew Mabini and Chris Wright, and a RBI double by Ruzicka, St. Pius put game one away when the team scored six runs in the fifth inning.
The score in game two remained tied 3-3 until the fifth inning. Morgan County intentionally walked Pius pitcher Adam Hall to load the bases with one out. Morgan County committed a throwing error to first base as they were trying to complete a double play, and Pius shortstop Andrew Mabini scored to break the tie. After a Chad Mabini hit scored Trey White on a fielder’s choice, the bases were loaded again. Morgan County committed another throwing error as Pius scored two more runs for a 7-3 lead. Pius scored again in the sixth inning with a double by Andrew Mabini to set up the two-out triple by Hall that brought pinch runner Aaron Avant home to seal the victory 8-3.
After early runs by Morgan County in both games, it was the Pius defense and pitching of Chad Mabini and Adam Hall that held a Morgan County team well under its average of 8.7 runs per game through 25 games. St. Pius (22-3) advances to round two of the playoffs against Ringgold High School, Ringgold.
Teresa Avant also contributed to this report