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Serra baseball uses team effort to top Bellarmine
April 17, 2013, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat Daily Journal
Michael Tinsley will be on record as the one who knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning in the Serra baseball team’s 8-5 win over Bellarmine Tuesday. But if not for the rest of his teammates, Tinsley would not have been in a position to be the hero, although he had a big game himself, reaching base three times and scoring three runs. There was Mickey McDonald going 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Jordan Paroubeck had another strong game, reaching base four times, coming up with three hits and three RBIs, while Sean Watkins drove in a pair of big runs with his lone hit. Then there was the pitching performance of Orlando Razo who, despite not having his best stuff, grinded out a complete-game victory. “I have all the confidence in the world one through nine,” said Serra manager Craig Giannino. “The contributions come from one and from all.” The Padres needed all hands on deck to knock off an always tough Bellarmine squad. Serra (7-1 WCAL, 17-3 overall) got on the board first with a Paroubeck RBI double in the first inning, but Bellarmine (4-4, 15-6) put up a five-spot in the top of the third for a 5-1 lead, only to see the Padres come back with four runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the score at 5. Serra then took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. John Murray started the rally by getting hit by a pitch. Nick Toomey followed and hit a tailor-made double play to second base, but the Bellarmine second baseman juggled the ball. He managed to throw out Toomey at first while pinch runner Dalvin Martin moved into scoring position. Kevin Crane came on to pitch in relief of Justin Calomeni, who did not appear happy to be given the hook as he shook his head as the Bells manager took the ball from him. Turns out Calomeni might have had a gut feeling. After Crane threw ball one to Tinsley, the senior catcher roped a double off the netting in left-center field to drive in the go-ahead run. McDonald followed with an RBI single to center to put the Padres up 7-5. Paroubeck drew a walk to bring up Paul Murray, who pounded a 2-1 pitch off the netting in center field to drive in the third run of the inning. “I was looking for a good pitch to hit,” Tinsley said. “We all have confidence of the guy in front of us to the job. We trust each other in getting the job done.” That was incentive enough for Razo to go out to the mound to pitch the top of the seventh and get the complete game. “I told coach right after we scored those runs (in the sixth) I was going to finish it,” Razo said, who finished with five strikeouts on 105 pitches. “When you don’t have your best stuff, you have to grind it out. We’ve been so resilient.” That resiliency was tested after Bellarmine scored five runs on five hits in the top of the third inning — all with two out. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Razo allowed the next seven Bellarmine batters to reach base safely, with Andrew Mallon’s bases-loaded, three-run double doing most of the damage. A lot of teams would have put their heads down and started thinking about the next game. The Padres, however, gritted their teeth and came right back with four runs in the bottom of inning. “We knew in the back of our minds we’re coming back,” Razo said. Giannino agreed lesser teams might have packed it in but, ever since the Padres rallied for a 10-9 win over St. Francis after trailing 8-1, Serra now knows anything is possible. Giannino said he was not exactly looking to tie the game after giving up five runs, instead looking for a sign of life to indicate the Padres would not give in. “Perhaps we would have been that way (down on ourselves) if not for what we did a couple weeks ago (against St. Francis),” Giannino said. Again, it was contributions up and down the lineup that enabled the Padres to answer the Bells’ five-run third. Toomey led off the bottom of the third with a opposite-field double to left. Tinsley then walked and McDonald singled sharply to left to load the bases. Paroubeck cut the Bells’ lead to 5-3 with a two-run single. Paul Murray then put down a sacrifice bunt to move McDonald and Paroubeck up to third and second, respectively. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Watkins came up and hit a huge chopper over the drawn-in third baseman to drive in two more runs and tie the score at 5. “[We] did a good job of responding,” Giannino said. “To be successful in this league, you have to lean on each other. We just grinded.”

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