Comets blank Ea­gles to ad­vance

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Marissa McNees

Amherst is back in the Divi­sion I re­gional semi­fi­nals for the first time since 2016 as the topseeded Comets beat No. 2 St. Ed­ward, 4-0, May 17 at the Pipe Yard be­hind pitcher Jack Faight’s com­plete-game shutout.

Amherst ad­vances to a Divi­sion I Bowl­ing Green/Parma re­gional semi­fi­nal to face Strongsville on May 24.

It’s the sec­ond game in a row Amherst (24-4), the top-ranked team in D-I in the fi­nal OHSBCA poll of the sea­son, has got­ten an in­cred­i­ble per­for­mance from its start­ing pitcher.

Evan Shawver recorded 12 strike­outs in seven in­nings pitched against Olm­sted Falls in the semi­fi­nal and Faight turned around and bested his team­mate — ar­guably the best pitcher in the state.

The se­nior gave up a sin­gle hit and struck out 14 bat­ters, work­ing his off­speed to keep St. Ed­ward (22-6) guess­ing at the plate all game.

“It was a lot of fun throw­ing a lot of curves,” Faight said. “That was the ap­proach to hit (St. Ed­ward) with a lot of off­speed, mix them up then hit them with the fast­ball.”

Faight struck out the lead-off hit­ter in the first in­ning but strug­gled with con­trol as he walked the next two bat­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to Faight, that’s just how his out­ings nor­mally go and there was no con­cern he’d lose con­trol as the game wore on, es­pe­cially when catcher Hunter Cas­sidy talked him through the first in­ning, calm­ing his nerves as he talked him through his re­lease.

“Some­times on Jack’s curve­ball or slider which moves a ton, he’ll start re­leas­ing it too far on the side and not get­ting his pointer fin­ger and mid­dle fin­ger on top of the ball so I just have to re­mind him some­times,” Cas­sidy said.

“It’s al­ways a lit­tle slower for me. I’m a mid-game pitcher,” Faight added. “The first cou­ple in­nings are usu­ally a lit­tle slower than even that. That was ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly bet­ter than how it usu­ally goes.”

Amherst turned around in the home half of the first and cap­i­tal­ized on a pair of St. Ed­ward er­rors, scor­ing

two runs when Ryan Glowacki’s rou­tine sin­gle rolled right by the Ea­gles’ cen­ter fielder as he helplessly watched the Comets take the lead.

They added in­sur­ance runs in both the sec­ond and fourth in­nings and of the four to­tal runs scored, none were earned as St. Ed­ward was plagued by field­ing mis­cues, and with Faight deal­ing all game, the pres­sure be­came too much for the Ea­gles to over­come.

“You’re gonna have one of these games you just hope it doesn’t hap­pen when it mat­ters most,” St. Ed­ward coach Matt Rosin­ski said. “Their pitcher, man, I don’t know if we would’ve scored one run to­day.

“He was throw­ing both pitches when­ever he wanted to, where he wanted to, kept our hit­ters off bal­ance and we just couldn’t do enough to put the ball in play.”

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