Lourdes battled back from several deficits on Sunday afternoon but could never tie the game, leaving 16 runners on base, as the Gray Wolves fell to #24 Madonna 11-7 at Mercy Field to close the 2013 season. The two teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but game two was cancelled due to rain and will not be made up.
The Gray Wolves struck first in the third inning, loading the bases with no one out before Cole Fitzgerald (Rome, N.Y./Centerville [Ohio] H.S.) delivered a single to right that scored John Crooks (Toledo, Ohio/Ottawa Hills H.S.) with the game's first run. Lourdes was unable to add to the lead though, leaving the sacks full for the second straight inning.
Madonna (33-7, 20-1 WHAC) answered with three runs in the fourth inning to take the lead. A sacrifice fly in the fifth and three more tallies in the sixth increased the lead to 7-1 before Lourdes began its comeback attempt.
Crooks doubled home Tim DeCant (Northwood, Ohio/Lake H.S.) in the sixth inning after DeCant walked and stole second. The senior ended his career a perfect 25-for-25 in stolen base attempts this season. Crooks then scored two batters later on a RBI single by Josh Redies (Saline, Mich./Saline H.S.).
After the Crusaders pushed the lead to 8-3 with an unearned run in the top of the seventh, Lourdes scored two more in the bottom of the inning. Crooks hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Tyler Trame (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.) and Fitzgerald drew a bases loaded walk that plated Cody Berg (Garrettsville, Ohio/James A. Garfield H.S.). The Gray Wolves again stranded the bases loaded though, doing so for the fourth time in the game.
DeCant hit his third home run of the season, a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth to plate pinch runner Bradley Gennari (Vickery, Ohio/Margaretta H.S.) ahead of him, pulling Lourdes to within a run, 8-7.
Madonna scored three insurance runs in the top of the ninth though, two on wild pitches and a third on a squeeze bunt, for the game's final margin.
DeCant and Crooks each had two hits and two runs batted in for the Gray Wolves as Lourdes tallied nine hits in the game. Fitzgerald also drove in two runs. Brett Ramirez went 3-for-4 with three RBI to pace the Crusaders' 13-hit attack.
Peter Renaud earned the win (4-1), allowing one run and four hits in five innings of work. He walked four, hit three, and struck out seven. Frank Shaffer (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg H.S.) suffered the loss (2-6), giving up five runs on seven hits in five innings on the mound. Travis Schuba earned the save, tossing the final three innings of relief for Madonna.
Prior to the game Lourdes honored its three seniors playing in their final game wearing the terra cotta and black. DeCant, Phill Dysard (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic H.S.), and Austin Gunn (Delta, Ohio/Delta H.S.) all began their careers last year after transferring to the school.
In year two as a program, Lourdes nearly doubled its win total from the inaugural season, finishing the year with a 14-29-1 record overall and a 5-20-1 mark in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference play, winning four more games than one year ago in the league.