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Cronk pitches Central Catholic past Lafayette Jeff
May 4, 2014Lafayette Jefferson High School
Central Catholic's Hayes Cronk set the tone with his first pitch of the game Friday night, a curveball that caught the outside corner for strike one.
From that point, with the exception of doubles by Justin Walker and Jared Overman, Cronk was in command of a 4-0 victory against Lafayette Jeff at Gordon Leming Field.
"Hayes pounded the zone and he was able to get all of his pitches over for a strike early in the count," Central Catholic coach Tim Bordenet said. "If you can throw all of your pitches for a strike, it usually sets up for a pretty nice night."
Cronk struck out 12, fanning the side in the third and seventh innings. The 6-foot-5 senior walked just one batter.
"Jeff's a good team and I know I have to bring the intensity," Cronk said. "I've been getting better every start. Tonight, I was really feeling confident."
Cronk relied heavily on his curve ball to keep the Bronchos (7-9) off balance. He said having Purdue-bound Evan Kennedy behind the plate adds to his confidence.
"Evan is a great catcher and I feel like I can throw it in the dirt whenever I want," Cronk said. "He frames it really well."
Class 2A No. 3 Central Catholic made Lafayette Jeff starting pitcher Jeremy Griggs pay for leadoff walks in the second and fifth innings. Braydn Bordenet walked and Pete Metzinger was hit by a pitch to put the Knights (13-5) in business in the second inning.
Cronk sacrificed the runners to second and third, and No. 9 hitter Anthony Berumen's fly ball to right was just deep enough to plate courtesy runner Ben Metzinger with the game's first run. Jackson Anthrop beat out an infield single to shortstop, allowing Pete Metzinger to make it 2-0.
Kennedy walked to start the fifth and stole second base. It looked like he would be stranded when Griggs struck out Coy Cronk and got Nigel Hensley to ground out to shortstop, but Bordenet doubled to left field to bring in Kennedy, and Metzinger doubled down the third-base line to score Bordenet.
"Leadoff walks kill you every time, and this year it has killed us more than any other year," Lafayette Jeff coach Scott McTaggert said.
But there was some good news for the Bronchos from this loss. Ethan Smith, Jeff's No. 1 pitcher, retired both batters he faced in the seventh inning in his first appearance since an injury.
"Our No. 1 has been on the shelf for a while, so we got him out there and got him a nice couple of batters," McTaggert said. "He looked great."
Another bonus was getting five innings from Griggs, two more than McTaggert had planned for the sophomore. Griggs allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out two.
"That's the best game he's thrown for a while," McTaggert said. "We told him he was only throwing three. but he was looking good so we left him out there. He lost his curveball in the second inning when they got the two. We told him you can't throw the fastball against good-hitting teams. They'll kill you."