Bonner-Prendergast 3, Archbishop Wood 2
Even though he will next pitch at the Division I level, Dan Furman offered to continue to serve as Bonner-Prendergast's backstop.
"He stepped up and took one for the program last season," Friars coach Joe DeBarberie said. "This year, he came to me and said, 'I'll catch again if you want me to.' "
DeBarberie smartly opted to make Furman a fixture in the pitching rotation. And the Friars have reaped the rewards of the switch.
Tuesday afternoon, with the Pittsburgh commit allowing four hits in a complete-game effort, visiting Bonner-Prendie nipped host Archbishop Wood, 3-2, in a Catholic League Blue Division contest in Warminster.
While striking out eight, Furman, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior who doubles as a first baseman, effectively mixed a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup.
"I attack the zone, go after people," he said. "You can't be afraid of any hitter. And Wood has some very good hitters."
Furman's bulldog-like effort was needed, as the first-place Friars could only turn 11 hits and three Wood errors into three markers.
"I feel like one run is enough for me to get the job done," said the 17-year-old from Brookhaven. "I trust my teammates and hopefully they trust me. It's all about believing in each other."
Furman threw 104 pitches. In the seventh inning, he clinched the victory, on a 3-2 slider, with a strikeout of cleanup man and Ken State recruit John Santospago.
In the previous inning, after the Vikings made it 3-2 on a fielding error, Furman escaped a bases-loaded jam with a whiff. "I've been working hard to get deeper into games," he said.
Bonner-Prendie, ranked No. 8 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, improved to 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the Blue Division. Wood slipped to 6-3 and 3-2.
"I thought Dan picked up his velocity in the later innings," Friars shortstop and Penn State commit Jim Haley said. "He threw real well."
Wood's Scott Boches, a righthander and Marist signee, went the distance while taking the loss. "I thought both pitchers did a solid job," said Vikings skipper Jim DiGuiseppe, Jr. "They were both around the strike zone all day."
In the third, when Brad Scull's single past diving shortstop Erik Bowren was followed by an error, Richie Tecco (3 for 4, two runs) and Haley (2 for 3) came around to put the visitors in front, 3-1.
Santospago (first-inning double) gunned down two would-be base stealers.
Bonner-Prendergast 102 000 0-3 11 2
Archbishop Wood 100 001 0-2 4 3
WP: Dan Furman. LP: Scott Boches. 2B: BP-Jim Haley, Pat Vanderslice; AW-John Santospago.