The Raven Baseball team not only had to battle against MNU in their final series of the regular season, but Mother Nature as well.
Benedictine (33-20, 22-10 Heart) split the opening doubleheader with MNU (30-18, 18-14 Heart) on Friday and then Mother Nature delayed the series finale until Sunday when the Ravens walked off Laughlin Field for the final team this season with a sweep over the Pioneers.
Friday, MNU took the series opener 8-5 before Benedictine rattled off three straight, 9-8, 11-4 and 8-4, to earn the series win and lock up the No. 3 seed in the 2017 Heart Baseball Tournament.
Game 1: MNU 8, Benedictine 5
The Pioneers were able to avoid the big inning against the Ravens in the opener. Benedictine plated home three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning but that was their highest output of the game as MNU starter Matt Terrones kept Benedictine in check on the mound.
Alex Garcia earned the start for the Ravens on the hill. He went five and two-thirds giving up six runs off eight hits to suffer the loss.
Despite doubles off the bats of Austin Watamaniuk, Michael Slaten and Rocky DeSantis, the Ravens could only score five runs after stranding eight runners in the series opener. Daryl Meyers anchored the offensive effort as he went 3 for 3 with an RBI and run scored. Matthew Jarecki added two hits as he and Myers were the only Ravens with a multi-hit game.
Game 2: Benedictine 9, MNU 8.
The Ravens scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to overcome a 6-3 deficit. Benedictine scored their six runs off six hits in the inning while they took full advantage of wild pitch and an error by the Pioneers.
Kamden Miller earned the win in relief. He went five and one-third, holding the Pioneers to just three runs off five hits to allow the Raven offense to get going.
Reid Fritzke went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored while Peter Hahn added two RBIs off the Ravens lone extra-base hit - a double during the Ravens fifth-inning rally. Myers added two hits and an RBI to round out the Ravens offensive effort.
Game 3: Benedictine 11, MNU 4
The big inning of game three came during the third when the Ravens posted eight runs and to chase Pioneer starting pitcher Jordan Dailey after two innings.
Ben Constello earned the win after throwing five innings. He gave up two earned runs off sixth hits with four strikeouts.
Logan Finley went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs while Hahn added a double and two RBIs. Watamaniuk also added two hits and an RBI as the Ravens finished with seven stolen bases in the win.
Game 4: Benedictine 8, MNU 4
The Ravens limited the Pioneers to just four runs for the second straight game as the came up with a big inning in the fourth in the series finale.
A seven-run fourth inning chased Pioneer starter Phil Graham was credited with seven runs off eight hits in just three and two-thirds.
Michael Slaten earned the start on the hill and threw five and two-thirds before he was relieved by Ben Underhill. Slaten finished with six strikeouts while allowing three earned runs off six hits while throwing scoreless innings in the third, fourth and fifth to allow the Raven offense to get going. Underhilll finished off the final inning and one-third to earn the save.
Jarecki, Finley and Logan Elliott finished with two hits each. Elliott and Brandon Barringer picked up a double each with Finley and Hahn driving in two runs each. Jarecki, Slaten, Watamaniuk and Elliott also drove in a run each.
As the No. 3 seed, the Ravens will travel to Ozark, Mo., to begin tournament play on May 4 at 7 p.m. There are two series yet to be completed and as a result, the official bracket will not be released until later tonight. If you are not able to make the trip down to support the Ravens throughout their run in the Heart Tournament, games will be broadcast on the Benedictine Raven Sports Network at portal.stretchinternet.com/ben.