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St. Francis errors help St. John’s to easy win

04/24/2014, 12:21am EDT
By STEVE JUNGA BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The power of 10 was on the side of visiting St. John’s Jesuit Wednesday in its Three Rivers Athletic Conference baseball matchup with rival St. Francis de Sales.

The Titans (6-1, 3-0 TRAC) used 10 St. Francis errors to go with their own nine hits, and cruised to a 10-3 victory.

St. John’s senior pitcher Nolan Silberhorn struggled early, having surrendered three runs on five Knights hits with one out and two runners still aboard in the bottom of the second. The hard-throwing right-hander struck out the Knights’ No. 3 and 4 hitters to escape further damage, then settled in for a solid outing.

“I give all the credit to our offense,” Silberhorn said. “I just did my job. Our offense kept us in it.

“[The Knights] were hitting my fastball real well, so I talked to my coach and we decided to start pitching backward — starting them out with off-speed, and then go to the fastball.”

Senior lefty Collin Korte worked the seventh inning, striking out three Knight batters on 11 pitches.

“They hit Nolan’s fastball pretty good in the first two innings, and he made some great adjustments going to his off-speed stuff,” Titans coach Greg Christian said. “He battled and battled.

“He got those two strikeouts there, and those were huge.

"That pumped him up, and pumped us up too. After that he was in total control.”

Titans catcher Mike Barrett (2-for-5), singled home one of St. John’s two first-inning runs with a single to left, and later doubled and scored a run in the sixth.

In between was a defensive Knight-mare for St. Francis.

After St. John’s plated its go-ahead run for a 4-3 lead in the third inning off of the Knights’ second pitcher, Chris Gill, the Titans added three more runs in the fourth off of Nick Lankard, who was the victim of four errors by his teammates in that frame.

St. Francis (8-3, 2-2) never recovered from that breakdown.

Lankford, who pitched three innings in relief, was 3-for-3 at the plate.

“It was the first sign of adversity this year,” Knights coach Tim Gerken said. “We lost [Tuesday at Findlay] and we struggled today. We got on them early, and it was a game for two innings. And then you saw what happened.

“That’s high school baseball. It’s easy to play when the green light’s on. We were in a little caution stage. We’re a team’s that’s trying to grow, and you have to continue to play. I thought we had a little hesitation in our step.”

Also picking up two hits for the Titans were Devon Garcia, and John Freisner.

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.

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