Catch Walk Away with Win in Season Opener

The inaugural season kicked off Wednesday evening with a 2-1 win for the SoCal Catch. The game proved to be a huge success as more than 100 fans saw pitching and stellar defense will the Catch to victory versus the East LA Dodgers. The Catch scored one run in both the first and eighth inning and it proved to be enough. The Dodgers managed to push only one run across the plate, struggling against the Catch pitching and a defense that committed zero errors in the 2-1 Catch victory. Tyler Schweigert set the tone defensively for the Catch. The first batter of the game hit a sharp ground ball towards the hole at short, but Schweigert made a tremendous backhanded grab and jump-throw across the diamond to first, beating the batter by a step for the out. The play proved to be a fitting end to the game too. The Dodgers had a runner on 3rd with two outs down by only one run when they hit a similar ball deep into the hole at short. This time it was Catch shortstop Brandon Van Horn making the backhanded play and long jump-throw across the diamond to record the final out of the game. The ninth inning was a stressful one for the Catch as four Dodger batters managed to reach base, but they could not score. With a runner on third and only one out, Catch second baseman Kyle Mellinger fielded a ground ball back up the middle and threw home. Catcher Colin Starr expertly blocked the plate and managed to apply the tag just before the Dodgers could score and tie the game. Another Dodger single put runners on the corners with two outs, but Van Horn’s play made sure the game ended with a Catch victory.

A two-out rally pushed home a run for the Catch in the first inning. After two hard-hit balls led to outs, Schweigert walked and cleanup hitter Connor Smith singled putting runners at first and second for catcher Tyler Harris. Harris flared a soft line drive to right field, but the ball had eyes, falling between three Dodgers and for a base hit and RBI. Schweigert scored from second on the play, becoming the first-ever run scored by the SoCal Catch. The Catch offense struggled to find its rhythm after that, mustering only 6 hits in the game. Their second run came in the bottom of the eighth inning. Neil DeCook singled and was followed by a Chad Shannon line drive over the first baseman’s head. DeCook was in motion on the pitch and ended up scoring on the play when the Dodger right fielder’s throw missed the cutoff man and ended up in shallow left field. The two runs were all the Catch pitching staff needed. Seven pitchers for the Catch allowed eight hits and six walks, but only surrendered one run to the Dodgers. Jonathan Knapp pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win. Zack Koprowski earned the save. The Catch play the East LA Dodgers Blue Squad June 6th at 5pm at Whittier Christian High School.