Cardinal Gibbons head coach Jim Liebler thinks his Crusaders have some better baseball left to play this season, albeit he knows they’ve produced plenty of good plays so far as they’ve moved up in the Piedmont Athletics Conference standings.
Winning 6-1 Tuesday at East Chapel Hill was good, he said. He just wishes his team would cut down on its errors.
“We’ve committed at least one error in every game so far this season,” Liebler noted. “We’ve got better defense still inside us.”
The Crusaders committed two errors Tuesday, one of which led to East Chapel Hill’s lone run.
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With two outs in the bottom of the second, East Chapel Hill’s Josh Petterson cracked a double into right field. He advanced to third on a Crusader throwing error, and designated hitter Ryan Fajack brought him home with a single up the middle, putting East up 1-0.
Gibbons responded with two runs in the fourth, led off by a single from Daniel Haberem, who stole second and third before Stephen Shank sent an RBI single into left center. The next batter up, Brian Emery, singled to left to score Shank with what proved to be the game-winning run.
Gibbons added four runs in the fifth, as Gray Betts, Jeff Cadran, Haberem, Chris Thorburn and Cam McNabb all singled.
Haberem (1-0) scattered four hits over six innings of work on the mound to record the win.
“We’ve pitched well; we’ve hit well,” Liebler said. “We’re averaging 6, 7 runs a game, which helps explain why we’ve won 13 games so far. We’re doing a lot of things right.”
Gibbons improved to 13-1 overall, 5-0 in PAC-6 games, and pulled even with Northern Durham (8-4, 5-0) in the conference standings.
Gibbons is scheduled to host Northern on Friday for their first meeting of the season.
East Chapel Hill fell to 9-5, 3-2.
By the numbers
8: straight wins for Cardinal Gibbons.
5: hits total Tuesday for East Chapel Hill.
8: Wildcat men left on base Tuesday.
7: road wins for the Crusaders this season, with zero road losses so far.
52: stolen bases so far this year by the Crusaders.
5: Crusaders hitting better than .400 this season.
2: East Chapel Hill centerfielders who are injured – Austin Shank (foot), Brad Rice (hamstring).
Three who counted
Daniel Haberem, Gibbons pitcher/infielder: went 3-for-4 at the plate and batted in two runs, also started on the mound and gave up zero earned runs as he picked up his first win in four appearances for a 1-0 pitching record.
Gray Betts, Gibbons sophomore catcher: hitting .444 as a leadoff man, Betts was 2-3 Tuesday.
Josh Petterson, East junior first-baseman: after struggling some at the plate midseason, he went 1-2 with a double.
They said it
“We’ve got to get tougher mentally. We’ll be okay, but we need to get better quickly. The games get tougher from here to the end of the season.” East Chapel Hill head coach Phil Woodell.
Cardinal Gibbons steps out of league play by hosting Raleigh rival Ravenscroft at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, then hosts Northern Durham at 7 p.m. Friday in a game that will decide who leads the PAC-6 at the midpoint of the conference season.
East Chapel Hill, holding onto third place in the PAC-6 by a half-game over Riverside (8-4, 2-2), plays at the Pirates’ home field at 7 p.m. Friday.