Marian Catholic pitcher Michael Bainbridge’s focus was at home with the tying runner dancing off third base.
Absolutely dealing on the mound, he wanted to close out his gem and make Marian’s graduation on time.
Bainbridge struck out Marist’s Dylan Woodworth on a high fastball to preserve host Marian Catholic’s 3-2 East Suburban Catholic win Monday.
“Just stay focused even more [in the last at-bat] than I was the whole game,” Bainbridge said. “Stay ahead, stay focused, keep battling.”
Bainbridge battled throughout to keep the Spartans (15-15, 7-8) in the game until his offense could pick him up. The senior tossed a complete game with 13 strikeouts, allowing two unearned runs on five scattered hits and a walk.
“I was trying to work ahead and throw first-pitch strike,” Bainbridge said. “I know my teammates are going to back me up and get some runs and hits behind me.”
The Marian lineup did pick him up. It just took awhile.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, Pat Schmidt reached via a single with pinch-hitter Chris Baker drawing a walk. Having struck out his previous at-bat, Kellen Williams stepped to the dish as calm as could be.
“I didn’t have the best at-bat before, swinging at some bad pitches,” Williams said. “I was trying to be more selective and get one I could drive and get those runs in when it counted.”
On an 0-2 count, Williams drilled a double to left field that rolled all the way to the fence, Schmidt and Baker scoring to put Marian up for good.
“I love playing behind Mike when he’s got this stuff [going],” Williams said. “He’s got that great curveball, and we don’t have to do any work. Just ‘Ks’.”
In the top of the seventh, Marist’s Tommy Finwall was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved into third on a Bainbridge throwing error before Bainbridge struck out Woodworth to end the game.
Ryan Kairis threw six strong innings for Marist (16-12, 8-5), allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Barrett Callaghan and John Carmody had an RBI apiece for the RedHawks.