Mercy Offense Pours Runs on Port Jeff in 15-5 Win

Keith Schroeher hits two home runs, leading Monarchs to first-game victory in three-team, double-elimination round robin.

They say when it rains, it pours.

Though the skies stayed clear on Thursday afternoon, McGann-Mercy's offense came down in buckets as they poured on five runs in the fourth inning and another five in the sixth en route to a 15-5 victory over Port Jefferson.

Playing the second game of a three-team, double-elimination round robin in the Class C playoffs, the top-seeded Monarchs took down the no. 3 seed Royals at home behind five runs and two home runs from shortstop Keith Schroeher, who was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two walks. Third baseman Tom Kretz added four runs batted in, going 3-for-5 at the plate himself.

"When our lineup is clicking, we're hard to get out," said Mercy (15-4) head coach Ed Meier. "Our one through five hitters are always tough. And the bottom of the lineup will put the ball in play, and make you make the plays."

After the Royals (12-8) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Schroeher and catcher Rocco Pascale started off the bottom half with back-to-back home runs.

Schroeher hit his second and third home runs of the season on Thursday, which he attributed to the time of year. 

"It's the playoffs," he said. "You get more excited. And me, I'm just seeing the ball better."

Port Jeff put another two on the scoreboard in the top half of the fourth, but the Monarchs responded in the bottom half again with five more and never looked back. 

In the bottom half of the sixth, the Monarchs were able to continue "stringing together a bunch of hits," said Kretz, aided by a couple of walks and a hit batsman.

"They hit the ball hard throughout the game," said Port Jefferson head coach Jerry Rosen. "We missed our spots a couple times a little bit, and they made us pay."

Pat Stepnoski pitched six innings for Mercy, earning the win. Joe Crosser came on in relief and pitched a perfect seventh, striking out the side in order. 

With the loss, the Royals will play the third team in the three-team bracket, Pierson (11-8), on Friday. Port Jeff had defeated Pierson on Wednesday, 4-3, to earn the right to play Mercy. Whichever team loses that game is done for the season; the winner plays at Mercy on Tuesday.


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