WA Baseball stays undefeated with a 7-0 win over Newton South


James Farley

Cullen fires a pitch as junior Justin Davighi prepares to make a play at first base.

James Farley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

WA Baseball continued their dominant start to the season with a 7-0 win over Newton South on Monday, May 8, advancing to a record of 12-0.

Built around one of the best pitching staffs in the state, including senior Matt Morash, junior Jake Cullen, and junior Nic Bonica, who combine for a record of 9-0 and each have an Earned Run Average (ERA) under 1.00, the Ghosts have been off to a great start. On Monday, it was junior Jake Cullen who started on the mound for the Ghosts. 

Cullen ran into some trouble in the top of the first inning, with Newton South’s second and third inning both having hard-hit singles. After a double steal by both players, it appeared as if the Lions were in business. However, Cullen settled in and recorded back-to-back strikeouts, holding them scoreless.

WA also got their bats going early, with Bonica and Morash both working walks to begin the bottom of the first inning. Then, Cullen hit a ball in the right-center gap, scoring both Bonica and Morash, and punching WA ahead 2-0. Junior James McDermott followed Cullen’s double up with a line-drive single to center field, scoring Cullen and giving WA an early 3-0 lead.

After WA rattled Newton South’s starting pitcher Matt Blanusa in the first inning, he lost velocity and accuracy as the game progressed, walking four batters in the bottom of the second to help WA extend its lead to 4-0.

Cullen used these early inning fireworks at the plate, as well as a nice catch by Bonica at third base, to help him dial in on the mound. He ended the inning with a strikeout, good for his fourth strikeout through three innings of work.

In the bottom of the third, WA began the inning with a walk from junior Alex Metznik, and then kept their bats hot with singles from Bonica and senior Ben Mulgrew, loading the bases. Morash then drove in Metznik with a sacrifice fly to center field, increasing WA’s lead to 5-0 after three innings.

Cullen continued his strong performance on the hill in the top of the fourth inning with an efficient one, two, three inning, one of the outs coming on his fifth strikeout of the day. His day on the mound came to an end in the top of the fifth after walking the second batter of the inning, with senior Kevin Fitzgerald coming in for relief. Fitzgerald recorded two consecutive strikeouts to leave Newton South’s runner on first and keep WA up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the frame, WA made several substitutions, allowing for sophomore Evan Pasters to get in the hit column, junior Ryan Swinamer to record his first hit of the season, and senior Kush Gami to drive in two runs on a ground ball to the shortstop that resulted in an error, handing WA a 7-0 lead after five innings.

In the top of the sixth, Fitzgerald continued WA’s strong pitching performance, shutting down Newton’s South batters, and recording a strikeout to end the game, earning WA a 7-0 victory.

Morash was pleased with the team’s performance, and felt good about the Ghosts adding to the win column.

“I am super proud of how we have been playing thus far, and glad we were able to showcase our bats against Newton South,” Morash said. “A handful of times we had the bases loaded and the whole team was playing with one goal in mind, to win.”

Cullen felt the same way, and has his eyes set looking forward as the Ghosts seek to continue their undefeated season.

“The strike zone was tight today, but good teams always find a way to win, whether that is on offense or defense,” Cullen said. “The marathon is not done yet.”

WA plays again on Wednesday, May 10 on the road against Newton South with the first pitch at 4:15 p.m.