Trailing by four runs entering the fifth inning, Menlo-Atherton staged a six-run rally to take the lead and never looked back, defeating Sacred Heart Prep 11-9 Monday afternoon on the Gators' home field.
M-A's six-run explosion was keyed by five hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly, and a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt by senior Austin Hume. The Bears also scored solo runs in the sixth and seventh innings to improve their season record to 3-4, while SHP's record fell to 2-5-1.
SHP jumped to a 7-3 lead after four innings, aided by five hits and six M-A errors. The Gators' offense was led by sophomore Matt Martella (2 hits, 3 RBI) and senior Charlie Bradford (2 hits, 2 RBI). SHP starting pitcher Kevin Wilkins pitched four innings, striking out five, but was hurt by two Gator errors in the fourth inning, when M-A scored three runs. Patrick McNamara pitched three innings, allowing four hits and four runs (three earned) in taking the loss.
Ryan Chilcoat, Chace Warren, and Cam Winn each drove in two runs for the victorious Bears, while Kyle Zirbes enjoyed a two-hit day for M-A. Senior Chris Gow reached base in all four plate appearances for M-A, stinging a double, walking three times, and scoring two runs.
M-A starting pitcher Patrick Moriarty deserved a better fate, surrendering seven runs over the first 3 2/3 innings only three of which were earned. Austin Hume earned the victory after relieving Moriarty in the fourth, with Chace Warren and Myles Brewer also pitching effectively in relief. Brewer notched the save by hurling two scoreless innings.
M-A opens its PAL Bay Division season at home on Wednesday against Hillsdale, while SHP hosts Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday.