Baseball: St. Ignatius routs rival Sacred Heart Cathedral in WCAL playoffs

St. Ignatius junior starting pitcher Jack Stinn didn't have the greatest day on the mound, but made up for it at the plate against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday at Marchbank Park. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

By Zack Farmer

DALY CITY – After allowing the Sacred Heart Cathedral baseball team to cut its early lead to a single run, St. Ignatius blew its West Catholic Athletic League playoff matchup with the Irish open with a nine-run third inning on its way to a 19-8 first-round win on Tuesday at Marchbank Park.

“It was huge,” St. Ignatius head coach Matthew Stetcher said of the big inning. “It made our guys feel a little more comfortable about what was going on.”

St. Ignatius (18-7-1) got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning, when leadoff hitter Nico Giarratano homered to deep right right.

The Wildcats piled on in the second and, following an intentional walk to Matt Krook and with three runs already in, junior starting pitcher Jack Stinn had a two-out single to left that scored two more runs, extending the lead to 6-0.

St. Ignatius junior shortstop Nico Giarratano rounds third base after a leadoff home run in the first inning against Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday at Marchbank Park in Daly City. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

“Our offense has been doing great lately,” Stinn said. “Every game versus [Sacred Heart] is a tough one. They always battle and they never gave up.”

And battle the Irish (14-12) did, coming back in the top of the third.

After retiring two of the first three batters in the inning, Stinn struggled to find the strike zone and when got he hit, he got hit hard.

Sacred Heart right fielder Jack Harrington stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and worked the count full before singling to left field to score both Mike Wallace and Manny Serrano.

Chris Viloria continued the hit parade with a two-RBI triple to left after he had fallen behind in the count 1-2.

The Irish had four straight two-out hits in the third and they scored five times, cutting the lead to 6-5.

St. Ignatius responded immediately and in a big way.

The Wildcats scored again on a RBI triple from Matt Debenedetti and following a groundout, St. Ignatius had three straight hits, two for RBIs, which pushed the lead to 9-5.

Stinn, who had been chased from the mound in the top half of the third inning, came up again after a second intentional walk to Krook.

The junior hit a double into the left-field gap, which drove in two more runs and extended the St. Ignatius lead to 11-5.

“[Stinn is] a competitor, so regardless of the situation, he’s going to do his best and won’t get flustered by what’s going on,” Stetcher said. “He struggled on the mound, but he relishes the chance to come back and compete.”

Stinn finished 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs and allowed five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings on the mound.

St. Ignatius, the WCAL’s second seed, will face No. 3 Valley Christian in the WCAL semifinals on Wednesday at San Jose Municipal Stadium and will have its ace, Collin Monsour, on the mound against the Warriors.

Monsour carries a 1.52 ERA into the game and in his last outing against Valley Christian, he went six innings, while allowing two runs and seven hits as a part of a 7-4 St. Ignatius win.

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8 Comments

  1. WCAL Alum says:

    Best of luck to the Wildcats. Win the next two nights and bring back the first outright WCAL varsity baseball championship to The City since 1978!! I also hear their frosh team tied for WCAL title

    SI has done it the right way by building a competitive program and bringing it back from the ashes of five years ago. Kudos to SI administration for making an investment in their baseball program with the acquisition of Marchbanks and Fairmont fields. With CYO teams playing at Fairmont nowadays, they have set in place SI to be competitive for years to come.

    Congrats too to Riordan too for playing competitive ball under first year coach Matt Gallegoes. Gallegoes may have broken a few eggs in his first year and it must have been a tough year for their seniors, but the program needs to built from stratch. Expect good things to come from Phelan Avenue.

    As for SHCP, good coaching can take you so far. It is amazing they have stayed competitive as long as they have. As long as SHCP flounders with its Frosh and J.V programs not havingfield access, and the varsity field situation not much better, dont expect SHCP to attract very many student/atheletes with an interest in baseball. They should take a lesson from their beautiful basketball arena. If you build it, they will come.

    Again, best of luck to Cats over the next few days.

    • tired of this says:

      Will not be an outright title. Will be a co-title with St. Francis, who won the round robin. SI also had a share of the title in 2000, I believe, so I am not sure about the validity of the 1978 statement.

      If you win the round robin and the tournament title, then you can be the outright champion.

      • WCAL Alum says:

        WCAL went to politically correct titles about 15 years ago. Yes, they tied for end of league standings in 2000 (i believe) but lost in first round of playoffs. I have always been of mind set that you win title after last team standing after playoffs.

        As for 1978, SH beat St. Francis for WCAL title. They also finished in first place after league standings (for what it is worth). Last team to play in title game was SI: lost to St. Francis in 79 title game and lost to Serra in 1980 title game. I believe that is the last time a San Francisco team has played in last game. Back then only the top four teams made it to league playoffs (that changed sometime in late 80s).

        Remember this was a time when a San Francisco team regularly played in the baseball title game (7 of ten years in 70’s), but again, I am dating myself.

        Good luck to Cats today.

  2. SI Sports Radio says:

    There is NO broadcast of today’s WCAL playoff game vs. Valley Christian on SI Sports Radio. But IF the Cats beat Valley Christian, SI Sports Radio will bring you the WCAL Championship game live from Santa Clara University tomorrow, Thursday, May 10 at 550pm. Listen to the game live on your computer, smart phone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

    Link: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/siprep.portal#
    or type into your browser http://www.siprep.org/sportsradio

    • WCAL Alum says:

      I listened to the broadcast yesterday. It was very professional and a nice way to compliment the end of my work day.

      • SI Sports Radio says:

        Thanks for the compliment. We are lucky we have some great alumni and talented students dedicating their time to SI Sports Radio. And a big thank you to George Devine at Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Irish Sports Radio for getting us started last school year.

  3. joe schmoe says:

    is nico the son of the head coach of usf baseball?

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