Cardds enjoy exciting week


By: Steve Feitl
   It was an exciting several days for the Lawrence High School baseball team.
   Over a three-day period, the Cardinals picked up two key wins — one of which occurred during the first round of the Mercer County Tournament —both at the expense of Notre Dame.
   On Saturday, the Cardinals sent the Irish packing from the MCT with a thrilling come-from-behind 9-3 victory.
   The 10th-seeded Cardinals were trailing, 3-0, entering the seventh inning. But in the seventh, Lawrence knotted the score at 3-3.
   Then in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals added six more runs to take the commanding 9-3 lead.
   "For six innings, we weren’t hitting very well," head coach Brian Carter admitted. "But the defense was making the plays we needed to stay in the game."
   When the bats finally exploded, it was an impressive sight.
   John Haggerty went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, while Charlie Park went 2-for-3 with two runs and two runs batted in. Brian Bunn also netted two hits, along with two runs scored.
   Kevin Schneider went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. He was also the pitcher of record, upping his mark to 4-0 on the season. He allowed the three runs — two of which were earned — and three walks and nine hits, but he struck out 11 Notre Dame batters.
   The big win was a huge confidence builder for the Cardinals, according to their coach.
   "It was the most fired up, I’d seen them all year," Carter said. "We been saying all along, all they needed was to just believe in themselves a little bit. They now have the confidence that they can play with anyone."
   The Cardinals proved that two days later in the regular-season rematch with Notre Dame. This time, there was no need for a late rally as the Cardinals(6-7) cruised to a 5-1 decision over the Irish.
   Dave Waseleski threw the complete-game five-hitter for the Cardinals. Notre Dame’s Dan Czepiga had two of the five Irish hits. Waseleski struck out nine Notre Dame batters.
   Mike Bruschini led the way offensively, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Matt Noble knocked in two runs.
   Now the Cardinals await second-ranked West Windsor-Plainsboro South on Saturday in the next round of the MCT.
   But Carter is more concerned with seeing if the Cardinals can hold on to their new-found confidence.
   "I’m curious to see how they respond," Carter said. "If they play with the same intensity, we could have another exciting couple days."