Sam Secrest didn’t need a lot of help Friday. He got a lot anyway.
Fenwick High School’s junior left-hander fired a three-hitter with 14 strikeouts and his teammates supported him with four home runs as the Falcons overpowered visiting McNicholas 10-2 in Greater Catholic League Coed Division baseball action.
“It was exciting. I was really loving it,” Secrest said after his 100-pitch performance. “My arm feels like gold right now. I’m ready to pitch another one.”
The wind was blowing out and Fenwick got four balls up in the jet stream as Keegan Corbett, R.J. Clesceri, Matt Fink and Thomas Vogelsang all homered.
“A lot of it was definitely wind-aided, but it’s nice to hit the ball hard,” said Falcons coach Chris Stratton, whose squad had two homers in its first 10 games (both by Fink). “I just hope our kids don’t start swinging for the fences all the time now because of that.”
Fenwick, which went 4-1 during a trip to Florida, improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the GCLC North Division. The Rockets are 3-4, 2-2 GCLC Central.
“We have been hitting the ball hard all year,” Stratton said. “We just have a different approach this year, an aggressive approach. If it’s there early, get after it. We don’t want to have a sit-back-and-wait mentality.
“Our defense really came together in Florida, and our pitching has been pretty strong. We feel good about where we are. We’ve just got to keep the intensity and keep the focus.”
The Falcons got more than enough offense against McNick’s Aaron Lynd in the second inning. Fenwick scored four times and celebrated homers by Clesceri and Corbett.
Lynd was the first of our pitchers for the Rockets. Kody Stein, Michael Fehr and Vinny Ramundo also went to the hill.
“When you elevate the ball to these big guys, they’re going to do what they did,” McNick coach John Christmann said. “We don’t have a dominant pitcher. I keep saying we’ve got a bunch of 3s, guys that aren’t going to beat a great team like this without some hitting and some great defense.
“I can’t be totally disgusted with it because we’re not walking a bunch of guys and having a bunch of errors. That’s worse. The other day against Carroll, we had 14 guys left on base and walked nine and hit three, and we go to the bottom of the seventh up by two. We ended up losing because you’re never going to beat a good team doing that.
“We’re not like we were a couple years ago. I get that. But we’re never going to roll over. We play a tough schedule, and we want to win some games in the (Division II) tournament. I’ll take a losing record if we can win several games in the tournament. That’s more important.”
Christmann said he was impressed with Secrest.
“He got ahead in the count,” the Rockets coach said. “When their pitcher gets ahead in the count, it puts pressure on the offense, and we didn’t make adjustments when he did that. Their coach should be very happy with that.”
Secrest issued one walk and hit two batters. He plunked Jackson Haas to start the fourth inning and Michael Lang followed with a home run to account for McNick’s two runs.
“I was probably due to give up a home run. It happens,” Secrest said. “My pitches felt good. I was hitting all my spots today. I was doing a good job painting the corners with my fastballs. I got a lot of strikeouts that way, and the curveball was working good on the lefties.”
“The funny thing about Sam is he’s still pretty new to the pitching position,” Stratton said. “I don’t think he started throwing much until he was in the seventh or eighth grade, so he’s come a long way in a few short years. He’s got good stuff. Sometimes he gets in his own head and overthinks stuff. We’ve just got to tell him to clear his head and go after the hitters and don’t try to dance around them.”
Corbett had three hits and Vogelsang drove in three runs for the Falcons. Adam Brian and Fink added two RBIs apiece, and Clesceri contributed a pair of hits.
The two teams will square off again Monday at McNick. The expected pitching matchup: Zach Lorei for Fenwick and Quinn Wolfram for the Rockets.
Both squads are scheduled to play Saturday. The Falcons will be at home against Oakwood at 10 a.m, while McNick has a doubleheader against host Simon Kenton (Ky.) and Johnson Central (Ky.) at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
WP — Sam Secrest (3-1); LP — Aaron Lynd (0-1); HR – M: Michael Lang; F: Keegan Corbett, Matt Fink, R.J. Clesceri, Thomas Vogelsang. Records: M 3-4, 2-2 GCLC Central; F 9-2, 3-0 GCLC North