CHELMSFORD, Mass. -– It was a windy and chilly early spring day, but that didn’t bother Central Catholic pitcher Pat Silk. The senior bent a few times, but didn’t break, as he progressively got stronger as the game went on.
The Raiders came away with a 6-1 victory over league rival Chelmsford at Ayotte Field on Thursday afternoon, to improve to 2-1 on the young season.
Cody Demers led the way with two RBI while Stephen Jaskelevicus, Aaron Hall and Cam Devaney each plated one.
“Today was actually the first day we had some consecutive hits. We were able to move some runners and play some small ball,” said Central Catholic coach Marc Pelletier, whose team was able to break the game open with three runs in the top of the sixth.
Pelletier was pleased with his team’s ability to come into a difficult place to play on a challenging weather day and come away with a victory.
“This is such a dangerous place to play. I’m real proud of them," Pelletier said. "Chelmsford at Chelmsford is a good win because they’re a real good team."
Complete game: Silk threw a one-run complete game at a very small ballpark, but what made it more impressive was the way he did it. He worked his way out of two bases loaded james early in the game, once in the first inning and once in the bottom of the fourth.
“We dodged a bullet in the first inning with the bases loaded,” said Central Catholic coach Marc Pelletier.
Silk, who fanned six Chelmsford batters, did a good job of mixing up pitches and hitting the paint.
“He dominates the strike zone," Pelletier said. "He’s not a swing and miss kid, but he changes speeds. We need our pitchers to throw strikes and he did that today."
Chelmsford hit into some hard outs and made a few base running errors that certainly helped Silk and CC get out of some precarious situations.
“We couldn’t get the big hit at the right time, but give their pitcher credit. He did a nice job keeping us off balance. [Silk] did a good job and it’s just typical of the game of baseball,” said Chelmsford coach Michael O’Keefe.
Devanney’s defensive wizardry: Devanney, Central Catholic’s stud shortstop, made several really nice plays, including one from deep in the hole to end the bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning.
“We talked about making plays in the first inning versus the seventh inning," Pelletier said. "They are just as important. Cam is a special kid. There is no question about it."
“They made some really nice plays in the field,” said O’Keefe of his team’s opposition.
O'Keefe added, “Their short stop [Devanney] is an excellent player. He was the player of the year as a sophomore. He plays the game hard, the right way. He’s a difference maker defensively. He made some great plays out there today."
Early season reflection: Central Catholic has done some experimenting early in the season, including using three different lineups in the first three games.
“We’re trying to figure it out. Some guys get hot and some guys get cold," Pelletier said. "The kids are all working hard in practice. We’re just battling. The target on our back is pretty big. We’re seen as everybody’s Notre Dame so the kids know we have to bring it every game."
Despite the setback, O’Keefe is still encouraged and staying positive about his inexperienced team.
“We’re a very young team. We’re going to have some growing pains," O'Keefe said. "[Thursday] was one of them. We have to learn. Everybody is in the same boat. We haven’t had a lot of practice. We have to turn it around quick and learn from the situations that have happened.
“I like my team a lot. We have some good kids. We’ve come out and swung the bats really well, but we’ve faced some tough pitching in Andover and Central. We have to figure out a way to play better defense, be better base runners and execute on all matters of the game.