All Hallows scored four quick runs in the first two innings and were seemingly in control of the decisive Game 3 against Archbishop Molloy. The Gaels and senior ace Jorge Meran fell victim to one bad inning, allowing six runs in the third.
“Today was a win or go home type of game,” Meran said. “We fought it just didn’t pan out. We gave it all today. It was that type of inning. My stuff wasn’t coming out there. I struggled a little.”
Stanners pitching silenced Gaels bats the rest of the way to secure a 6-4 victory and end All Hollows season in the CHSAA Class AA baseball playoffs in Briarwood on May 31.
“We came out on fire and put a little pressure on them early,” All Hallows coach Ed Gutierrez said. “Basically for the one home run after that we shut down a little bit. Give credit to their pitching staff. It was a struggle to come back from just even two runs.”
The Gaels (14-11) came out hitting. Jonel Ozuna started the rally with an RBI double in the first. J.C. Ramos then followed up by hitting a two-run RBI single, which hit first base and went into right field to make it 3-0. Ramos went out and wanted to help his team make the next round.
“I really wanted to the series,” the senior said.
Ramos then added to the Gaels led in the top of the third with a more than 350-foot solo shot to left centerfield.
“JC finally stepped up in this game of the series,” Gutierrez said.
The lead wad short lived. Molloy cut the advantage to 4-2 on back-to-back RBI singles by Kevin Linitiz and Chris Armas. After Meran walked in a run, Jack Turner drilled a two-run double to put the Stanners ahead. Scott Hannon then stole home to cap the six-run inning that put Molloy up 6-4.
Though Meran struggled in the third he battled and retired the final ten batters he faced.
“He’s been our big guy all year,” Gutierrez, said of his ace who threw a complete game giving up six runs, in six innings, and struck out 10 batters. “ It’s hard to go out that way, but he battled as much as he could and I am happy to see he came and competed.”
Following the rally the Gaels bat failed to get a going against Molloy reliever Frank Cerillo for the second straight day. He gave up one hit in his four innings on the mound.
All Hallows fought to the end, but their season ended early. The Gaels won the first game of the series before dropping the next two.
“I believe we under achieved a little,” Gutierrez said. ‘”I think we could have gone further with some of the arms we had and some of the sticks that we had.”