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NewCath Frosh Champs 2012
5/15/2012 - by Steve Fromeyer
In the eyes of many, happiness can be found on all different levels. One would find happiness with the birth of a child, with the purchase of a new home, or by simply winning the lottery. If you were to ask a coach what would bring him happiness, he would probably tell you what I will tell you – to win it all. The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds found their happiness Saturday night when they captured their third Freshman Baseball Regional title in five years. The road was not easy, nor for the faint of heart.

The May 10th first round game against the Scott Eagles will be talked about for years to come. Scott’s Andrew Trame and Newcath’s Brandon Gray were the epitome of stellar. Going into the 8th inning, Gray hadn’t allowed a hit and Trame had scattered six. Gray would get the Eagles to go down in order, as well as record his ninth strike out of the game. The bottom half of the 8th began with a groundout to second and a ground out to short. Clint Bartels then singled to left field, followed by a single from Seth Freppon advancing Bartels to third base. Nate Enslen then put a 2-2 ball in play, slowly toward third. The third basemen would lose his footing on the catch and would never make a throw, thus scoring Bartels and emptying the Thoroughbred bench in celebration. Brandon Gray allowed only one walk, and hit one batter.

Friday afternoon’s second round game would be against the Highlands Bluebirds at Morscher Field. Leo Barth would get the ball and be the man. He would throw only 49 pitches in a 10-0 (six innings) victory. He allowed only two hits, walked none and struck out one. Back-to-back complete game shut-outs from a starting pitcher is more than clutch this time of year. Leo Barth, Zack Pangallo, Brandon Gray, Clint Bartels, and Seth Freppon would all log two hits in the game and would account for five runs being driven in. Nate Enslen would go 1-1 with three walks, and drove in three runs.

Saturday’s semi-final against Covington Catholic would test the will of the freshman Thoroughbreds. A quick 5-0 start quickly turned into a 5-4 lead after three. After trading runs over the next two innings, Newcath would score one more in the sixth while clinging to two run lead. Zack Pangallo would get the start and would struggle finding the strike zone after the first inning. Fortunately for him, the Breds’ defense was stellar. Two 6-4-3 double plays negated huge innings for the Colonels. Pangallo would give way to Clint Bartels in the fifth inning. It took him an inning to get into a groove, but ultimately would hold on for the save with a 7-5 victory. Brandon Gray was 3-4 in the game with two RBI’s. Jake Wieland (DH) would go 2-2 with two RBI’s and one huge sacrifice bunt in the fourth. Clint Bartels and Zack Pangallo would also drive in two runs each to aid in the effort of making it to Saturday night’s championship game.

Dixie beat St. Henry in the other semi-final, setting up the fourth meeting between the two this season. Greg Crawford would be Newcath’s starting pitcher and would also be Newcath’s white knight. Crawford pounded the strike zone for seven innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out two. The third dominant performance in three days. Seth Freppon led off the 2nd inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Nate Enslen. An errant throw to first allowed both runners to advance, however a second throwing error got both to the plate for the 2-0 lead. They would score again in the 5th inning when Brandon Gray singled, Clint Bartels walked, and Seth Freppon drove in Gray with a 13 pitch at-bat single. Crawford would shut the door on the red Colonels in the 6th and 7th innings and the celebration would begin.

Kudos to Brandon Vieth, nephew of Ben Bleser, for catching all four regional games without a single passed ball, or error. A true test of will to catch every pitch in such an intense setting.

All tolled, this was a tremendous Freshman Regional. All teams showed heart and battled to get to Saturday night. Winning the region isn’t an easy task. It takes the will of every player to achieve their ultimate goal. Congrats to the Dixie Colonels on a fantastic season and a very well played regional tournament.

Newcath’s roster:
1 – Parker Jordan
2 – Brandon Gray
3 – Clint Bartels
4 – Greg Crawford
7 – Matthew Striegel
8 – Justin Runyon
11 – Derek Dew
12 – Zack Pangallo
13 – Seth Freppon
15 – Taylan Spicer
20 – Brandon Vieth
21 – Nate Enslen
22 – Kyle Sampson
25 – Jake Wieland
30 – Leo Barth

Head Coach – Kevin Gray
Assistant Coach – Steve Kroger
Assistant Coach – Steve Fromeyer

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