CANONSBURG – At a school where the boys soccer team made a surprising run to its first WPIAL title, the softball team became known across the state in one memorable season and the wrestling team wins, well, just about everything, Kevin Forrester doesn’t want his baseball team to get lost in the shuffle.
Not to worry.
With what the Big Macs have accomplished – a seven-game winning streak, punctuated by a 14-11 win over Peters Township Friday to close the regular season as outright Section 5-AAAA champs – that doesn’t appear likely to happen.
“We’ve got a lot of team chemistry, so when that comes together, you get on a roll,” said Forrester, who struck out three over four innings to run his record to 6-1 this season. “Once you win one game, you start building from it and keep going.”
Canon-McMillan (8-2, 11-6) has scored 59 runs in its last seven games, an average of 8.4 per contest. There was the rally from a six-run deficit to down Peters Township April 18, the start of the streak. Then another late surge to top Upper St. Clair April 26 and a walk-off win over Mt. Lebanon four days later.
A 10-run first inning ensured this one wasn’t nearly as close.
Every starter had a hit against Peters Township (5-5, 11-6), and Davey led the way by going 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Freshman left fielder Connor Coleman had two hits and two RBI; center fielder Brandon Kildare had three RBI, catcher Buzz Boggio two; and right fielder Jared Beach scored three runs.
After Peters Township got two runs in the top of the first, Canon-McMillan scored 10 runs on seven hits and three errors in the bottom half, with Boggio driving in two with a double down the left-field line and Coleman plating two more with his single.
Five of Canon-McMillan’s runs in the inning came with two outs.
“When you’re giving three errors to a team like this, the way they’ve been playing, and the way they’re playing with confidence, it’s going to kill you,” Peters Township coach Joe Maize said.
Maize made wholesale changes after the first and Peters Township nearly made a game out of it, getting a three-run double from Chris Wastchak during a five-run fifth, but Canon-McMillan wasn’t about to let this one slip away.
Not with a chance to “Hang a Banner,” as the Big Macs had emblazoned on the back of their warmup shirts.
“The kids are totally believing that if we’re behind or if we’re ahead or whatever the situation, that we can get it done,” Canon-McMillan coach Frank Zebrasky said.
A tough sell, given Canon-Mac went 2-10, 4-15 last season and lost two starters – catcher Ryan Gillespie and center fielder Jake Cadez – to injuries prior to the season. Then again, predictability doesn’t always play well at Canon-Mac.
“All Canon-Mac sports are doing well this year, and I don’t think anybody outside of us thought before the season that we would be in this position,” said first baseman Justin Davey, who leads the team with 21 RBI. “We’re just trying to prove everybody wrong.”