By Jason Goorman
MUSKEGON – Aggressive base running, and a pair of solid pitching performances, gave Muskegon Catholic Central a sweep of its baseball doubleheader against visiting Western Michigan Christian in a Lakes 8 Conference matchup on Friday.
The Crusaders combined for 25 stolen bases and gave up just three hits in the two games, and now have a sizzling 20-1 record this season.
MCC currently holds the top spot in the conference race, with its lone loss coming at the hands of Ludington.
MCC won the opener 7-1 against WMC and capped off the sweep with an 8-2 victory in Game 2.
The two biggest stars were pitchers Max Price and Nolan Convertini.
Price, a sophomore righthander, struck out 10 and gave up just two hits in the first game for the Crusaders, who have a roster completely comprised of underclassmen.
“He is pitching well for us,” said MCC Coach Steve Schuitema, whose team started the season 12-0. “He’s (Price) kind of had a coming out party on the mound for us. He’s getting the kind of stuff you equate an ace with.
“Max, in his last two outings, has showed that his command keeps getting better and better with his off-speed stuff. Now he’s stepping into a role where he’s going to help us.”
Convertini pitched a one-hitter with five strikeouts in Game 2.
Carson St. Amour led MCC’s offense with two hits in each contest.
The Crusaders bats struggled against WMC pitching, but didn’t lack base runners due to walks and WMC errors.
The Crusaders took full advantage of the extra baserunners. In Game 1, MCC scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning with 10 stolen bases.
“We work hard on base running, getting jumps and being aggressive,” said Schuitema, whose team has wracked up 100 stolen bases this season, while getting thrown out only twice.
Brant Zeerip had a solid pitching performance for WMC in the opener. Jameson Goorman led the Warriors at the plate with the lone hit in Game 2, snapping a Convertini’s no-hitter in the sixth inning.
Game 2 was called due to darkness after five and a half innings.