Closing out the regular season at home, the St. Francis Borgia Regional baseball Knights defeated Parkway Central at home Tuesday, 10-3.
“Getting a win on Senior Day is always fun,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “It was great to honor our 10 seniors and their parents today. They have all been important parts of this program. I know they are all going to move on to success in life after high school.”
Borgia concluded the regular season with a 17-9 record. The Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division champion opens postseason action in the Class 4 District 3 Tournament Saturday in Pacific. The second-seeded Knights will face the winner of a first-round game between No. 3 Union and sixth-seeded St. Clair at 2:30 p.m.
Prior to Tuesday’s game the Knights honored 10 senior players, Justin Heggemann, Jacob Unnerstall, Jacob Dralle, Josh Hendrickson, Michael McElwain, Drew Piontek, Matt Piontek, Jack Wooley, Eli Marquart and Quinton Poepsel.
Parkway Central opened scoring with a run in the top of the first, but Borgia tied it in the bottom of the inning and added two runs in the second and one in the third.
Parkway Central scored once in the fourth, but Borgia came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Each team scored once in the fifth and Borgia added three final runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Three of the seniors shared pitching duties in the game. Marquart started and went one inning, allowing a run on two hits while striking out one.
Matt Piontek was the winner, going three innings while allowing an unearned run on one hit and four walks. He struck out two.
Hendrickson was credited with a save, pitching the final three innings while allowing one run on three hits and one walk. He struck out two.
“Our intent for this game was to get our pitching in line for the weekend,” Struckhoff said. “We were able to get Eli his one inning of work so he is prepared. Matt Piontek and Josh Hendrickson did a nice job holding down Parkway Central. Josh has really done well in the second half of the season. He hits his spots and knows what he needs to do to get outs.”
Offensively, Marquart and Louie Eckelkamp led the offense with three hits apiece.
Marquart doubled while Eckelkamp hit a long home run to left field, his team-leading fifth of the season. The Knights have hit 18 home runs this season with Drew Piontek, Marquart and Spencer Hunter tied for second with three homers apiece.
“Louie and Eli continued their hot streaks,” Struckhoff said. “Louie’s home run was mammoth. It ended up in the yard behind left-center. Eli just continues to impress. He is just a good hitter. It was also good to see Michael McElwain come in and get a hit to start a rally in the third.”
Drew Piontek and Poepsel each tripled. Matt Piontek, McElwain, Hunter, Joe Schmidt and Poepsel singled.
Drew Piontek, Matt Piontek, Eckelkamp, Unnerstall and Heggemann walked.
Drew Piontek and Matt Piontek stole bases. Heggemann added a sacrifice fly.
Drew Piontek crossed the plate twice. Matt Piontek, McElwain, Marquart, Hunter, Poepsel, Heggemann and Matthew Sinnott scored once.
Eckelkamp drove in four runs. Hunter, Poepsel and Heggemann each had one RBI.
For Parkway Central, Eric White took the loss. Over three innings, he allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out five.
Ben Prywitch pitched two innings, allowing three runs on one hit (Eckelkamp’s home run) and four walks. He struck out one.
Daniel Bernstein pitched the sixth, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out one.
Sam Ladd had two hits, both singles. Jake Moritz had the lone extra-base hit, a double. Tyler James, Antonio Hutti and White singled.
Bennett Johnson walked twice. Moritz, Ladd and White each walked once.
James, Ladd and White scored the runs. Anthony Klein, Moritz and White drove in runs. Klein’s RBI was on a sacrifice fly.