For Paul VI, the next time it meets up with St. Anne’s-Belfield’s baseball team it’ll be too soon. The last VISAA Division 1 playoff game the Saints played was their extra-inning victory over the Panthers in 2011 in the state title game. On Tuesday, the seventh seed pulled the big upset over the second seed as STAB 3-hit Paul VI en route to a 10-3 win to move on to the semifinals in Petersburg.
Paul VI held a 3-2 lead going into the third inning, but things unraveled as the Saints exploeded for eight runs between the fourth and sixth innings and held the Panthers scored after the bottom of the second.
In a bold move, the Saints sent sophmore Bobby Nicholson to the mound, saving staff ace Parker Morris for the next round. Nicholson couldn’t have performed better, throwing 6.1 innings, giving up three hits and just two earned runs. He struck out three and walked three but the Saints defense, despite committing a pair of errors, got him out of any an all trouble after the first two innings. Jeremy Benner closed out the seventh getting the last two outs with ease.
Then there was Nicholson’s day at the plate. Going 3 for 4, he delivered four RBI with a single, double and triple, as the sophomore was as good at the plate as he was on the mound. Jalen Harrison came up with a solo homerun. Tanner Morris went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Jake Allen was 2 for 5 with two RBi and a double. The Saints had 23 total bases to the Panthers 4.
STAB moves on to play the sixth seed in Flint Hill who also pulled off a big upset with a 10-0 win over St. Christopher’s. The two will square off on Friday in Petersburg at 7 p.m.