Pitchers battled. Defensive gems happened everywhere on the diamond. There was one towering home run.
But, in the end, it was a passed ball on the third strike of the would-be third out of the seventh inning that allowed the winning run to score, giving St. Christopher's their ninth straight win Saturday evening, 3-2 over Benedictine, in the 5th Annual Buddy Ball Pass The Hat fundraising game held at RF&P Park in Glen Allen.
The decisive pitch, from reliever Nick Roth, in for starter Michael A. Geary, who allowed just three hits over six innings, headed for the backstop. Davis Evans raced to first to beat the throw and Sam Griffin, who started the inning with an infield single to shortstop, came home.
Benedictine (6-5) got two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but Roth popped out to Cody Valenzuela at first base to end the threat, and the game. The Cadets left nine aboard in seven innings.
Valenzuela's towering home run off the Glen Allen Stadium scoreboard in right center in the top of the 2nd tied the game at 2-2, and the assembled fans thought a slugfest could be developing. But Geary and St. Christopher's starter, and winner, Giles Thompson, both settled in, keeping the score at 2-2 until the decisive seventh.
St. Christopher's is now 10-2, having not lost since a March 22nd defeat to Liberty Christian. They will go near Charlottesville Wednesday and Thursday for a two-game series at St. Anne's-Belfield. The Cadets are spending Sunday on a bus to Florida where they will play four games in a spring break tournament beginning Monday at 2pm.
The best news of the night? Nearly $5,000 was raised for the River City Buddy Ball organization, who works to help special needs children and teenagers play baseball. The amount was a record for the event.