Nate Gartrell didn’t waste time watching, hoping the wind would carry his fly ball over the left-field fence.
The Sacred Heart Cathedral junior just put his head down, sprinted toward second base and pumped his fist when he saw the result. Gartrell’s two-out, fourth-inning double had one-hopped the wall at AT&T Park, cleared the bases and given the Irish all the momentum in an 8-5 win over rival St. Ignatius on Tuesday.
“I didn’t think I got all of it — the wind carried it a little bit,” Gartrell said. “I was just trying to do something to give the team a little lift and I’m grateful it did more than that.”
Gartrell’s double gave the Irish (9-8, 1-2 West Catholic Athletic League) a 5-1 lead and considerable confidence with the way Steven Dea was pitching. The senior left-hander held the Wildcats to one run over the first six innings and left with an 8-3 lead in the seventh. He allowed four runs and eight hits while striking out six in six-plus innings, as Sacred Heartwon the baseball leg of the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy series. St. Ignatius (9-7-1, 0-3) retained the overall trophy for the 10th consecutive year by virtue of its wins in football and basketball and leads the overall series 43-18.
“No one wants to get swept,” Dea said. “We just had to clean up for [football and baseball].”
Dennis O’Conner and Paul Swenson each had two hits for Sacred Heart, which led 2-0 after the first inning and seemed to be in complete control when it carried an 8-1 advantage into the final inning. But Paul Toboni, Ryan McWhirter and Travis Clark led off the bottom of the seventh with hits to chase Dea, and the Wildcats eventually got the tying run to the plate after pinch-hitter Robby Garrison’s high fly to center was lost in the sun and dropped for a two-run double. The next batter lifted another ball into the outfield, but this time Gartrell raced over from right field and caught the final out.
Sacred Heart Cathedral 8,
St. Ignatius 5
SHC 200 420 0 — 8 9 2
St. Ignatius 001 000 4 — 5 8 2
Leading hitters: Dennis O’Conner (SHC) 2×4, Swenson (SHC) 2×4, Paul Toboni (SI) 2×4, Ryan McWhirter (SI) 2×4. HR—None.