Mooney enacts revenge on Tigers

HOWLAND — Cardinal Mooney got a chance at revenge on Wednesday afternoon, and the Cardinals made the most of it.

Mooney was dominated by Howland early in the season, but the Cardinals got some redemption with a 10-2 victory at Howland Township Park on Wednesday. The game was called after five innings due to the weather, but Mooney will still be credited with the victory.

Howland took the first meeting between the two, 9-1, in the opening game of the season.

“We knew that they would be hungry for us, but unfortunately we came out too flat to start the game, and that’s what led to the score,” Howland coach Justin Drapp said.

Mooney senior first baseman Chris Lewis broke a 1-1 tie with a second inning three-run homer to right field. Lewis finished the night with five RBIs and three runs scored, reaching base in all four plate appearances.

“I was just seeing pitches tonight and sitting middle-in and trying to find a fastball early in the count,” Lewis said. “I was just trying to get good cuts on the ball and it was feeling good tonight. They beat us pretty badly last time so beating them by eight is a good feeling for us, and we want to keep it going.”

Howland tacked on one more run in the bottom of the third, with an RBI single by left fielder Dylan Keller to cut the lead to 5-2.

Mooney responded in the top half of the fourth with two runs, capped off with a two-out RBI double by junior designated hitter Anthony Potesta, extending the Cardinal lead to five.

Junior Ryan Stafanec picked up the win on the mound for the Cardinals. The righty went five innings, striking out five and giving up two earned runs.

“I was setting them up with my two-seam fastball and then coming in with the curveball, and it worked well for me tonight,” Stafanec said.

Stafanec tossed three scoreless innings on the day and really settled down once the Cardinals took the lead.

“I had to calm him down there in the first inning,” Mooney coach Al Franceschelli said. “He struggled there and he was just a little tight, but once we jumped on them, he really loosened up. He’s a really talented kid.”

His counterpart, Jacob Harsany was credited with the loss after giving up six earned runs over four innings and striking out one.

Howland center fielder Keith Rounds did his role out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-3, including a double and a run scored. The Tigers finished the night with just five hits as a team.

“I would rather see me struggle and see the rest of the team actually doing well,” a frustrated Rounds said. “I’ve been doing pretty good lately, but it means nothing obviously if we as a team aren’t doing anything.”