20th-seed Lourdes advances in playoffs
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YONKERS, N.Y. — Ask Adam Brant and he’ll tell you he had “nothing” on the mound in Wednesday’s start against Riverside. But in 130 pitches, the Lourdes ace got all that really mattered — a playoff victory.
Brant, a senior right-hander, worked out of jams all game but persevered enough for a 3-1 victory over No. 13 Riverside in a Section 1 Class A outbracket matchup at Fleming Field.
Brant struck out 10 for the 20th-seeded Lourdes, which hadn’t won a playoff game in three season.
“I didn’t have much,” Brant said. “I couldn’t get my breaking ball over for strikes. It was mostly fastballs. But I got through it.”
Perhaps Brant was a little tough on himself. After all, he allowed just four hits and, while he walked five, he calmly navigated his way out of trouble by spotting his fastball and keeping the Rams off balance.
A first-inning home run by freshman Travis Stackhow, two third-inning errors and a successful safety-squeeze were the extent of the Lourdes offense, as Brant and Riverside ace Steven Moran dueled throughout.
Moran allowed seven hits and struck out eight in a complete-game defeat.
“His fastball was very hard and we difficult with his breaking pitches,” Lourdes coach Derrick Damiano said. “To be honest, I knew this was going to be 2-1 or 3-1. That’s why we ran the squeeze play on them. Anything to try to get a run.”
But the Riverside offense just couldn’t muster enough off Brant, leaving eight men on base. They stranded bases loaded in the first and left a runners in scoring position in the second, third and fifth.
Stackhow’s homer in the first was a rocket to centerfield that skipped on the Fleming Field turf. In the third, Christian Keenan scored on an overthrow on a pickoff attempt. In the fifth, Connor Brady led off with a triple to deep center and scored on a squeeze bunt by Steve Rochatellow.
Although Lourdes was the No. 20 seed, Wednesday’s win didn’t feel like an upset to them.
“We had a rough season but we knew we could beat them,” Brant said. “We knew we had a good team from the start. We came today and got good timely-hitting.”
Lourdes will need a lot of that on Thursday when they face fourth-seeded Beacon in the opening round. Beacon beat Lourdes in the regular season.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at email@example.com