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St. Mary’s Bests St. Joe’s To Force Game 3 Of Georgetown Cup

With its season on the line, the St. Mary’s High School baseball team got some big contributions.

The Lancers got some big hits in big spots and brilliant relief pitching from senior Joe Barberio and posted a 5-2 win over St. Joe’s in Game 2 of the Georgetown Cup on Wednesday at Coca-Cola Field.

St. Mary’s now has a chance to win its first Georgetown Cup since 1980 on its home field this afternoon.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said St. Mary’s junior Christian Szablewski, whose two-run double broke the game open in the fifth inning. “We’re excited; we know we can do it.”

Game 3 is set for 4:30 p.m. today at St. Mary’s. Whole the second-seeded Lancers are looking to make some history, the No. 4-seed Marauders have goals of their own. After taking Game 1 on Monday, St. Joe’s hoped to break out the brooms on Wednesday. But coach Paul Nasca will gladly accept another chance to clinch in Game 3.

“Listen, a three-game series is what we signed up for and a three-game series is what it is,” he said. “We just told the kids if we told you Day 1 that we’re going to play for the championship, one game winner-take-all, would you sign up for it? Absolutely. We’ve got an opportunity to play for a championship.”

In Game 1 on Monday, the Lancers stranded 12 runners and the Marauders won 7-5. On Wednesday, it was St. Mary’s that delivered in the big moments.

St. Joe’s opened the scoring in the bottom of the second on an RBI hit by Luke Pierce but St. Mary’s had a quick response. With runners on first and third, Alex Bish smoked a drive that went off the glove of the St. Joe’s centerfielder, scoring two runs.

Szablewski had the big blow in the fifth when his drive into the left-centerfield gap scored two more runs. 

“I got a pitch up in my eyes and I like the high ones,” he said. “I just tried to get some good wood on it. I kept my head down and I was able get it out there for a big hit.”

Barberio increased the lead with an RBI single in the sixth but it was his work on the mound that sealed the deal. He entered to start the fourth inning and threw three perfect innings before surrendering two hits and a harmless RBI groundout in the seventh.

“Once get Barberio in and we had the three or four run lead, I knew it would be tough for them,” said St. Mary’s coach Mike Wagner, who’s in his 17th season with the Lancers. “He was lights out. I haven’t really pitched him much this year and I said, ‘You know what? He’s a great catcher, let’s get him on the mound and get some work during the year for just this situation. And it worked out great.”

Initially all three games were expected to be played at Coca-Cola Field. But when Game 2 was rained out on Tuesday that forced Game 3 to today. With Taste Of Country looming, the Buffalo Bisons home field is unavailable. St. Mary’s is the higher seed, so the decisive game will be played in Lancaster.

“It feels great,” said Barberio, who was also 3-for-4 at the plate. “We’re going to bring Game 3 back to our field and try to win Wags a championship.

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