CARY, N.C.—After a loss to Mountain Pointe on the first day of the National High School Invitational, it would have been easy for Bishop Verot to pack it in. Instead, the school regrouped and won the final three games.
The final victory came Friday over Huntsville, a 11-0 thumping packed with plenty of offense and a stellar performance from starter Jonah Owenby, who had served as closer in his team’s win over Orange Lutheran on Thursday.
“To be able to come here and go 3-1, with the amount of competition, the great players, the great teams that are here (is good),” Bishop Verot head coach David Nelson said. “The ultimate goal was to go 4-0, but 3-1 was the next best. We’re very proud of being able to finish up strong.”
Owenby, a senior lefthander, held Huntsville to two hits through the first five innings while whiffing one and walking two. He used a low-octane heater and a slow, whirlybird hook for the most part.
“I felt pretty good,” Owenby said. “Pitching in the last game, I had plenty of rest and time to let my arm recuperate from pitching last week. I closed the game out yesterday, so I got a good, basically a bullpen in, and came out pretty good today.”
He also leaned heavily on his defense, which was rock solid around him all morning. That was particularly true of backers up the middle—shortstop Bobby Brennan, second baseman Richie Nizza and center fielder Evan Dougherty—who sucked up nearly everything hit their way.
As could have been predicted for a last-day consolation game with a 9 a.m. start, Friday’s scoring started thanks, in part, to some shoddy play.
After Jeff Passantino worked a walk with one out, Huntsville starter Daniel Wright threw away Danny Tufariello’s sac bunt, pushing runners to second and third. A passed ball cashed in the first runner, and Zack Chappell’s hard single to right plated the second score.
Tufariello’s hit in the fourth plated Passantino—who had opened the inning with a ringing double and advanced to third on a balk—with Verot’s third score.
Two more scored in the fourth inning on Seth DeHaven’s perfectly placed squeeze bunt. The first run scored with ease on the throw to first. Richie Nizza, the runner at second, never stopped running and scored just ahead of the throw from first baseman Whitt Davis.
Tufariello’s sac fly to left in the fifth added a sixth run, and a five more runs over the next two frames made the final margin.