LaViolette, Musial key to Notre Dame win over Southwest
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Nursing a one-run lead late in the game, Notre Dame Academy catcher Brady LaViolette made sure the Tritons came away with a conference win.
LaViolette’s three-run triple to right-centerfield in the top of the seventh inning helped save a masterful pitching performance from Deuce Musial in the Tritons’ 6-1 Fox River Classic Conference victory April 25 over Green Bay Southwest.
Musial, an Illinois State University commit, surrendered only two hits and struck out seven in his five innings of work.
Landon Lozier closed out the last two innings for Notre Dame, including striking out the side in the home half of the seventh.
Before LaViolette came to the plate in the seventh, the Tritons only led 2-1 against the pesky Trojans.
LaViolette ended the game 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBI.
“I saw a fastball and went the other way with it,” LaViolette said. “(Head) Coach (Jared Barker) has been preaching that to the team. It took us a while to get going. Our strengths are pitching and defense, and we used them to our advantage tonight.”
Notre Dame began the seventh with back-to-back bunt singles from Nick Bumgardner and Caden Capomaccio to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
After Lozier popped out to catcher Jacob Richardson on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, Cade Milton walked to load the bases.
After LaViolette’s big hit, Donatello Badalamenti had an RBI single to end the scoring.
In the four-run seventh, the Trojans sent nine batters to the plate.
The Tritons’ defense also came up big on three occasions.
Notre Dame turned a pair of 5-4-3 double plays and got an outfield assist from Capomaccio to cut down another run at the plate.
With Southwest trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Caleb Sprutles attempted to score from second base on a Mason Meyer single to center.
Capomaccio, a University of Minnesota pitching commit, charged the ball from medium centerfield and threw a dart to LaViolette on the fly, who slapped the tag on a sliding Sprutles to end the inning.
“Caden has made plays like that before,” Barker said. “He held on to (the ball) a bit – I’d like to see him get rid of it sooner, but he made a great throw. Our defense did a good job overall.”
Southwest Head Coach Matt Rukamp said he was also impressed with the Capomaccio throw.
“You’d probably see a high school outfielder make that play one in 10 times,” Rukamp laughed. “I thought we had an opportunity (to score) there because he bobbled the ball a bit. I know (Capomaccio) has a strong arm, but we had to test him. Opportunities don’t come along very often sometimes.”
The Trojans grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning after Capomaccio hit a one-out double and scored on an RBI hit from Milton before LaViolette’s first RBI knock of the game.
Southwest pitcher Connor Hefling went 6 2/3 innings and gave up all six runs on 10 hits while striking out five.
Henry Klatt had the only other hit for the Trojans.
“Tip your cap to Notre Dame,” Rukamp said. “They played good defense and got some key hits. Hefling pitched well, and we were right in the game. It was a good high school baseball game. We hung close – I’m not upset with the loss. We didn’t beat ourselves.”