It was a back and forth battle with several lead changes before the Fenwick baseball team finally pulled out a 10-9 victory over the Caravan of Mt. Carmel on Saturday at the Priory.
The Friars (8-3, 1-1), who opened Catholic North League play with a 12-2 loss to St. Rita on April 13, jumped off to a 3-0 lead against Mt. Carmel. Leadoff batter Nick Marino started the Friars off with a line drive up the middle. Pat Brady followed with a line drive single to right field. The runners were moved over on a ground ball by Jim Murphy, putting Joe Carlini (4-for-4, 4 RBIs) in a position to give the Friars an early lead. Carlini ripped a double to the right field wall, scoring Marino and Brady to give Fenwick a 2-0 lead. Jack Horrigan (3-for-4, 3 RBIs) put the Friars up 3-0 before the inning was over.
Mt. Carmel brought the score to 3-2 after the top of the third, but Fenwick put another run on the board when Carlini was knocked in by Mark Baker's sacrifice fly.
In the top of the fourth Mt. Carmel threatened to tie the game with runners on second and third with only one out. The Caravan attack was temporarily slowed due to the great defensive play of Horrigan at third base. Horrigan fielded a rocket of a ground ball and threw out the Mt. Carmel runner at home, saving a run.
In the bottom of the fourth, after Marino and Brady reached base safely, Marino was driven in on Horrigan's check swing base hit over third base to tie the game at five.
Fenwick retook the lead when Carlini drilled a base hit up the middle, scoring Brady to make the score 6-5.
The top of the fifth saw trouble for Fenwick and starter Mike Brown. Brown gave up a hit and two walks to load the bases. A ground ball scored one run to tie the game, before Fenwick head coach Dave Hogan decided to make a change and brought in right-handed fireballer Mike Giovenco. However, it was not the remedy Fenwick needed as Giovenco struggled with his control, and Mt. Carmel retook the lead on a sacrifice fly to left.
Brady brought the Friars back with a double to right field which scored Louis Salvino to tie the game at seven.
Murphy pounded a ball to the left-center gap, scoring Brady. Carlini doubled to right center to score Horrigan and give the Friars their biggest lead of the day at 10-7.
Fenwick gave up two doubles in the top of the sixth leading to a Caravan run.
Mt. Carmel threatened briefly in the top of the seventh as the Caravan brought it to within one, but after one more pitching change, reliever Joe Vanis managed to get the only batter he faced to ground out.
In the loss to St. Rita, Fenwick went through five pitchers, who combined to give up 10 hits and 10 walks. The Friars also had four errors in one inning.
"It was just a bad day for the Friars," said Fenwick head coach Dave Hogan of the loss to St. Rita. "We gave that game away."
The Friars travel to Providence today (Wednesday), and Guerin Prep on Saturday for a doubleheader.