WEIRTON – The Madonna senior class already has football, basketball, baseball – even golf state titles under its belt.
For good measure, they might as well add a city championship on Senior Night.
The Blue Dons topped Weir High, 13-2, in five innings on Thursday as both teams honored their 12th graders.
“It’s nice when you have football for the kids to come together,” said Madonna coach Tim Provenzano. “Then you have basketball. I’m getting them at the end of the year. They’ve gelled all four years, but there’s something special about that senior year and these kids are showing that.”
Will Bowser took the mound for Madonna, which improves to 18-4. He cruised through the first two innings by not allowing a hit and striking out four.
“Will has stepped up this year as a senior,” Provenzano said. “He’s a completely different kid. The senior leadership he’s shown on the mound this year is just unbelievable.”
Though the Blue Dons built a 10-0 lead by the third inning, Bowser started off the third by hitting Jake Wypasek with a pitch. Jacob Rosnick then singled in the next at-bat. Bowser record two-straight outs before Mitch Viakely drove in a run.
The Red Riders (4-12) scored both their runs in the third.
“Sometimes we might be too passive,” said Weir coach Jason Angle. “Maybe that’s due to youth and inexperience, but youth and inexperience should be out the window by now.
“We should’ve been more aggressive. We let too many fastballs go by.”
Viakely started on the mound for the Riders and got through the first inning by sending the Dons down in order.
Things got out of hand in the second.
Ross Comis and Will Bowser each reached on errors to lead off. Then Michael Rogers singled in a run to get on the board.
Fourteen batters came to the plate in the inning as Comis, Anthony Antinone and Kaleb Baire drove in runs. Vinnie Merico had two RBIs on a double.
“We’ve worked a lot in the season as far as hitting goes,” Provenzano said. That’s been a problem since last year. We’ve been spending a lot of time in the batting cage. Our pitching and our defense is usually on-point but our hitting always could use work.
“It’s coming around now and that’s when it needs to happen. This time of the year, everything is coming together and that’s great.”
Madonna added three runs in the third inning with Bowser driving in a run on a sacrifice fly, Fuscardo hitting an RBI single and Dominic Silvestri drawing a walk with the bases loaded.
Freshman Matt Anderson relieved Viakely midway through the third inning. Viakely, a senior, finished with three strikeouts.
“Viakely has come full circle,” Angle said. “He’s always come ready to play and he never quit this season. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of all these seniors.”
Kody Knight, Chris Russell and Nick McCartney joined Viakely, with their parents, in the infield of Edwin J. Bowman Field for the pregame senior night ceremony.
For the Blue Dons, Bowser, Fuscardo, Rogers, Antinone, Comis, Marcello Biondillo, Adam Robertson and Adam Higgins were recognized – though they host Oak Glen for another home game today at 7 p.m.
“There are kids that don’t play other sports,” Provenzano said, “but the kids that are involved in three sports know how to lead and they’ve brought everybody together whether this is the only time out of the year playing together or if they’ve played together all year long.”
Bowser pitched the complete game for Madonna and finished with 10 strikeouts in five innings, walking two and allowing just three hits.
Weir turned the game’s only double play – a 4-6-3 put out – in the fourth.
These two teams played each other to open the season on March 27 as the Blue Dons came away with a 3-1 win in nine innings.
The Red Riders travel to Brooke today for a 5:30 p.m. game against the Bruins.