Charlie Coghlin belted two home runs, including a grand slam, and added two doubles and seven RBIs as St. Mary's won a 16-11 hitfest over Manitou Springs on Tuesday afternoon at Mustang Field.
Coghlin finished 4-for-5 with a walk and scored three runs.
“Charlie, of course, is one of the most well-known power hitters in the state,” St. Mary's coach Bill Percy said. “I've had a couple over the years that went on to play in the big leagues. Charlie is a guy who hits the ball just as hard as them.”
He hit one of those hard ones in his first at bat. Each of the Pirates' first three batters of the game drew a walk, bringing Coghlin to bat with the bases loaded.
“Swing at a fastball,” Coghlin said he was thinking as he stepped to the plate. “I got it at the end of the count.”
He hit a full-count fastball over the fence in right center, across a foot path, and high off another fence on the other side for a grand slam.
Coghlin added an RBI double in the Pirates' four-run second inning and another double in the third. In the fourth, he made his only out – a line drive that was stabbed by Manitou Springs third baseman Evan Kitch. After the catch, which was the third out of the inning, Kitch came back to the dugout clinching and unclinching his glove hand trying to get the feeling back.
After walking in the fifth, Coghlin hit his second homer, a two-run shot in the seventh.
But Coghlin wasn't the only player getting hits for St. Mary's (8-6). Grant Smith went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, while Logan Elliott, Trevor Read and Aldan Tiernan each had two hits. In all, St. Mary's had 16 hits and drew 11 walks.
“We've been swinging the bats pretty well this year and we continued to do so today,” said Percy, whose team entered the game with a .391 batting average.
With all the Pirate traffic on the bases, it could well have turned into a rout. Manitou Springs didn't allow that to happen, matching St. Mary's blow-for-blow.
“It's always interesting when we play Manitou,” Percy said. “We always put the bats on the ball and are usually successful scoring runs – and they are too. It's always a battle with them.”
Alec DeMauro had a single, double and triple for Manitou Springs (3-9) and three RBIs. Also with three hits and three RBIs was Donato Santos.
“Today was a non-league game – we didn't throw our top pitchers – but we got some great answers out of our young pitchers,” Percy said.
Top among those was Kenny Slominski, who hadn't pitched in a varsity game since struggling in the season opener on March 14. The sophomore worked his way off the JV Tuesday with 3 1/3 inning of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits.
“This is is first outing back and we welcome him – he welcomed himself – back today,” Percy said. “Kenny finessed, he kept them off-balance and he hit his spots.
“I was always hoping that he would come back and make it back and he did.”