BRIDGEPORT - Survive and advance.
Steubenville Catholic Central adhered to that philosophy in a tight Wednesday night Division IV Sectional standoff with Shadyside.
Though limited to just two hits, skipper Don Young's Crusaders scratched out a 3-0 victory in a matchup of two mound aces.
Crusaders' senior Jimmy Panella continued a season of outstanding performances, spinning a complete game three-hit shutout. As it turns out, the Crusaders needed another stellar outing by Panella, considering Shadyside southpaw Jared Brooks was equally up to the task.
"I'd have to say that was the best-pitched game we've faced all season," Young exclaimed. "We're a team that's been known to manufacture runs, and that was the case tonight."
Panella, meanwhile, permitted three singles and five total baserunners. He recorded two strikeouts and a like number of walks.
"Jimmy's been out there leading us all spring. That was another clutch performance by him," Young added. "He pounded the strike zone all night and had a low pitch count."
It was a tough loss to take for Tigers' mentor Mike Meintel whose young Tigers bowed out after making measurable progress.
"You throw a complete game two-hitter, chances are you're going to win the game," Meintel stated. "Jared did everything we asked of him. We just couldn't mount any offense and (Panella) deserves all the credit for that."
Central scored two fourth inning runs without the benefit of a hit.
Sophomore shortstop Brenton Colabella was hit by a pitch. One out later, designated hitter David Bertoia executed a sacrifice bunt and reached when the throw to first sailed into right field allowing Colabella to score. Senior Adam Lyons drew a base on balls and swiped second base. An errant throw permitted Bertoia to race home for a 2-0 lighting.
In the Crusaders' fifth, third baseman Stephen Mihalyo singled up the middle and came around when Colabella crushed a Brooks delivery to the fence in leftcenter for a double. Panella made the three-run upperhand stand up.
Catholic Central, improving to 21-6, awaits the winner of today's Barnesville-Toronto tilt. The sectional finale is scheduled Monday at Bridgeport.
Barnesville advanced to today's battle with Toronto after ousting host Bridgeport, 10-4, in Wednesday's opener.
Catholic Central 3, Shadyside 0
Shadyside 000 000 0 - 0 3 4
Catholic Central 000 210 x - 3 2 0
SHADYSIDE: Brooks (LP, 5K, 3BB) and Dorris. Brooks s; Kubancic s; Stupak s.
CATHOLIC?CENTRAL: Panella (WP, 2K, 2BB) and Laukert. Colabella 2B, RBI; Mihalyo 1B.