Cardinals defeat PA Select for third title

The U18 Fairfield Cardinals claimed their third baseball tournament title on July 21 in Pennsylvania. Team members (front row l-r): Justin Triunfo, Charlie Meder, Mike Kochiss, Michael Defilippis, Anthony Miller and Nick Hartman; (second row) coach Fred DiVincenzo, coach Michael Miller, Kyle Buckwald, Karl Rodriguez, Jake Gepfert, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Connor Quinn, Andrew Salveson and coach Curt Meder.

The U18 Fairfield Cardinals claimed their third baseball tournament title on July 21 in Pennsylvania. Team members (front row l-r): Justin Triunfo, Charlie Meder, Mike Kochiss, Michael Defilippis, Anthony Miller and Nick Hartman; (second row) coach Fred DiVincenzo, coach Michael Miller, Kyle Buckwald, Karl Rodriguez, Jake Gepfert, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Connor Quinn, Andrew Salveson and coach Curt Meder.

The Fairfield Cardinals U18 baseball team captured the Titan Bullpen Tournament Championship for its third summer title from July 19-21 in Pennsylvania.
The Cardinals (22-6-3) were a perfect 5-0 in the tournament, as Kyle Buckwald went the distance in the final game holding PA Select to two runs on just four hits.
Playing PA Select for the second time in two days, the Cardinals knew their opponent and were keenly aware that one mistake could decide the championship.
Both teams managed a run in the first inning. PA Select struck first after some sloppy defense by the Cardinals allowed Select to take a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals dug in and responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning on a Charlie Meder double to right-center and a fielder’s choice.
Pitching and defense took over and the score remained tied until the top of the fifth, when PA Select took advantage of two Cardinal throwing errors to take a 2-1 lead.
Once again the Cardinals faced the challenge and plated three runs to take a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Mike Defilippis worked a walk followed by singles from Meder and Andrew Salveson.
A Karl Rodriguez sacrifice fly tied the game at 2.
Mike Kochiss had the deciding blast, sending the first pitch he saw to deep centerfield for a two-run double.
Buckwald proceeded to work a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, including two strikeouts, and only faced four batters in the top of the seventh to seal the victory and tournament championship.
He pitched a four-hitter with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Cardinals 4,
New Jersey Saints 2
The Cardinals got right to work in the first game scoring a run in the first inning after Meder (Fairfield Ludlowe) reached on an error, stole second then scored on a Rodriguez (Notre Dame-Fairfield) single.
After a scoreless second inning, the Saints took advantage of two walks and an error that resulted in two runs.
The Cardinals tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After Anthony Miller (Fairfield Warde) hit a one-out single up the middle, Connor Quinn (Fairfield Ludlowe) was hit by a pitch and Jake Gepfert (Fairfield Prep) laced a single down the right-field line to plate Miller.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth. Rodriguez led off the inning with a triple to left then scored on a Kochiss (Fairfield Ludlowe) double to center.
Kochiss moved to third on a fielder’s choice, then scored on a Defilippis (Fairfield Warde) sacrifice fly to deep right as the Cardinals took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning.
That was all Justin Triunfo (Fairfield Warde) needed, throwing a complete-game three-hitter.

Cardinals 4, PA Select 0
Defilippis pitched a masterful game, as he recorded a complete game shutout versus Pennsylvania Select.
The Cardinal offense gave him four runs to work with in the middle of the game, the defense threw two runners out at the plate, and Defilippis did the rest including cutting down a runner attempting to steal home.
That was followed by an inning-ending play at the plate from Meder in centerfield to Robert Bohn (Redding) at the plate.
The Cardinals broke the scoreless tie in the third and fourth innings, scoring two runs in each.
With two outs, Salveson (Fairfield Ludlowe) earned a walk and scored on a Rodriguez double.
On the play, Rodriguez scored on an errant throw.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Miller and Bohn hit back-to-back singles then scored on an error and fielder’s choice to push the lead to 4-0.
Defilippis, who allowed only two hits and struck out four, and the defense closed down PA Select after turning a one-out double play to end the sixth inning.

Cardinals 12,
Altoona Curve 0
The Cardinal offense exploded in game three, scoring four runs each in the three different innings to earn a mercy-rule victory over the Curve in four innings.
Andrew Kirkpatrick (Fairfield Warde) faced 14 batters, gave up two hits and struck out three in four innings of work.
The offense was led by Kochiss (3-for-3, triple), Bohn (2-for-3, 5 RBIs, home run), Gepfert (2-for-3, RBI) and Miller (2-for-3).

Cardinals 11,
Livingston Knights 3
Even after clinching first place versus the Curve, the Cardinals didn’t let up jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two innings and led 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Knights took advantage of two walks, three passed balls and one hit to score three runs to close the gap to 5-3.
The Cardinals responded with six runs in the top of the seventh inning on four hits, including a two-run double by Kochiss.
The pitching combination of Salveson and Nick Hartman (Granby) sealed the victory and sent the Cardinals to the championship game.
Offensively, the Cardinals finished with 11 hits, including three players with multiple hits — Meder, Salveson and Kochiss.

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