By Hector Longo
---- — LAWRENCE — As far as opening statements go, Andrew Hamel let it fly.
He’s the senior. He’s the horse. And with the big, 6-foot-5 lefty on the hill, Central Catholic becomes a mighty stiff chore.
“I wanted to build off what I did to end last season, and I think I did that,” said Hamel, a four-year varsity mound man. “Coach (Marc Pelletier) told me he needed four innings, and we’d go from there. I nearly went the whole way.”
Hamel shut Lawrence down yesterday in a near complete-game effort, striking out three in six innings as the Raiders held off a late Lancer charge, 4-2.
Nicked for a pair of runs in the seventh, Hamel needed a bit of relief help from Raider hoop teammate Aaron Hall, who came on with the bases loaded in the seventh, got a strikeout then induced the game-ending double-play grounder — Central’s third of the afternoon.
“They had a blooper behind first and really didn’t hit the ball hard,” explained Hamel, who admitted he probably shouldn’t have started the ninth as he walked one and hit another batter. “It was great to see Aaron was right there and ready to step up for us. He did a great job to get us out of it with the save.”
In all, Hamel went six-plus innings, allowing just two soft singles. He walked a pair and hit two batters, but benefitted by a couple of sweet double-play turns in the middle by Cam Devanney and Nick Delois and a diving catch in center by Kevin Regan early to escape any trouble.
With the defense ballin’, Hamel looked relaxed.
When the Raider bats got rolling, Hamel was downright nasty.
“You just can’t knock going out there when your team picks you up with a couple of runs,” said Hamel, who watched the Raiders build a 4-0 lead.
Brady Abraham doubled and scored on Pat Gleason’s sac fly in the second. Gleason tripled to center in the fourth then waltzed home on Kevin Regan’s clutch RBI, two-out hit.
Hall doubled in Brady Abraham in the fifth, and Tom Parsons took a bases-loaded Samual Quiroz heater right between the shoulder blades in the top of the seventh for a little insurance.
To the Lancers’ credit, they never quit.
Jose Cedano walked to lead the bottom half of the seventh, and Javier Morales flared a chalk-finder over the first-base bag. Hamel then hit Edison Urena to load things.
Jose Martinez with a grounder to short that was kicked, plating Cedano with the first Lancer run. On came Hall, who fanned the first hitter he faced, gave up an RBI blooper to Jesus Ventura to make it 4-2, but got the 5-4-3 double-play turn to end it.
agateHed:Central Catholic 4, Lawrence 2
agateText:Central (4): Anthony Licari lf 3-1-1, Cam Devanney ss 1-0-0, Nick Gorski 1b 2-0-0, Paul Karamourtopoulos pr 0-0-0, Brady Abraham rf/3b 4-2-2, Aaron Hall 3b/p 3-0-2, Jon Parsons c 2-0-0, Pat Gleason dh/rf 3-1-1, Nick Delois 2b 2-0-0, Austin Perry ph 1-0-0, Kevin Regan cf 3-0-1, Andrew Hamel p 0-0-0, Totals 24-4-7
agateText:Lawrence (2): Jose Abreu cf 2-0-0, Elvis Peralta ss 3-0-0, Jose Cedano c 1-1-0, Javier Morales 1b 3-1-1, Edison Urena 3b 2-0-0, Jose Martinez rf 2-0-0, Jerel Rivera dh 3-0-0, Jesus Ventura lf 3-0-2, Brahiam Ortega 2b 3-0-0, Jerry Hernandez p 0-0-0, Samuel Quiroz p 0-0-0, Totals 22-2-3
agateText:RBI: CC — Hall, Gleason, Parsons, Regan; L — Martinez, Ventura
agateText:WP: Hamel; LP: Hernandez
agateText:Central Catholic (1-0): 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 — 4
agateText:Lawrence (0-1): 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 — 2