Related TopicsSt. Edward EaglesValley Forge Patriots NEO HS Staff By: Chris GinleyAVON, Ohio- Another cold day greeted the St. Edward Eagles as they hosted the Patriots of Valley Forge at Sprenger Health Care Stadium in Avon.For the second straight game, the Eagles’ pitching was struggling in the early innings. St. Edward catcher Mark Mohnickey went to the mound to have a chat with starting pitcher Corey Schutz, after only the second pitch of the game. Eight of Schutz’s first nine pitches were for balls and three of the first four Patriot batters reached base. The Eagles, however, did not waste any time chipping away at the 1-0 deficit. Mackenzie Wainright quickly got on with a first-pitch infield single and then swiped second base to get himself in scoring position. Chris Elliot hit an infield single of his own and John Sherman hit a sacrifice fly to put the Eagles ahead 3-1 in the bottom half of the first.The Eagles plated two more runs in the bottom of the second inning to increase their lead 5-2. These runs were due largely in part to some unfortunate fielding plays by Valley Forge, highlighted by a dropped ball at first base by Drew Burch that allowed Corey Stofko of the Eagles to score and put the speedy Wainwright on third.Derek Tackett came in for some middle relief for the Eagles in the top of the third and promptly set the Patriots down three in a row, striking out the first two batters he faced on three pitches each. Both the Eagles and the Patriots had relatively quiet third innings, as only one batter reached, St. Edward’s Joe Horoszko via walk. Tackett was dealing, as he registered his second straight 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.Patriots pitcher Brendan Santiago was able to get the speedy Wainwright out by picking him off at second, to end the Eagles threat in the bottom of the fourth, which was the second time an Eagle baserunner was picked off this game, along with Kemer in the bottom of the second.Santiago continued his contributions by doubling home Dylan Magda to pull the Patriots within two, but that would be the only offense that the Patriots would get during this inning. Tackett continued his strong pitching to keep Valley Forge at bay in a close game.The Eagles’ Mohnickey, who was the only Eagle with multiple hits in this game, appeared to have made another Eagles’ baserunning error, but an obstruction call allowed him to advance to second, much to the chagrin of the Valley Forge coach. The Eagles appeared to have scored on John Sherman’s second sac fly, but Spencer Crane did not tag-up and was tagged out to end the Eagles promising bottom of the fifth.Spencer Marinac provided some insurance runs as he laced a two-run double to left field in the bottom of the sixth. The Patriots threatened in the top of the seventh, putting the first three runners on base and scoring two runs, but ultimately fell to the Eagles 8-5.The story of this game was the relief pitching of Derek Tackett and the heads-up base running of the Eagles, despite them getting picked off base two times. The only miscue that Tackett had was hitting two batters and allowing the double in the top of the fifth to opposing pitcher Santiago. “It was important to get a first-pitch strike. Towards the end of the game, my two-seam wasn’t the greatest, along with my arm action, which caused me to hit two batters towards the end of the game. I just had to settle down, and pitch,” Tackett said after the game. Along with strong relief pitching, eight stolen bases and smart base running on several Valley Forge defensive miscues put the Eagles in scoring position, and along with the timely hitting of the Eagles’ hitters allowed them to score and put the Eagles ahead. The Patriots top two hitters, Magda and Santiago, each reached base twice and were the only two Valley Forge players not to strike out.Coach Matt Rosinski had this to say about the Eagles latest win, “It was important to get a win before we go to a national tournament. It was neat that we can come back quickly, rebound, and get a win.With the win, the Eagles move to 3-1 on the season. They will head to Charleston South Carolina to participate in the H.I.T. Tournament.