Ildefonso Lifts McCarthy Both At The Plate And On The Mound
Andrew Ildefonso was wondering what he could do for an encore. The Class 5A Player of the Year in 2021 as a sophomore was pressing at the start of this season, trying to duplicate the numbers from last year.
But all that just might be behind him now. The Archbishop McCarthy junior right-hander threw six near-perfect innings and belted a two-run homer in the first inning to spark a 9-0 win at Florida Christian on Wednesday night.
“The two-run homer sets the tone,” said Mavericks’ manager Aaron Vorachek of his star player. “I think he’s trying to do too much at times, so this was a really good outing for him.”
Ildefonso gave up just two hits and struck out 11, including the final four batters he faced, over his six innings of work. Javier Gorostola and Adrian Vidal each doubled for the Patriots’ only hits off the Archbishop McCarthy ace.
“I made some major adjustments to my mechanics and the result ended up pretty good,” said Ildefonso, who added that he had a good feel for his fastball and worked the breaking pitches on 2-strike counts. He was most satisfied with controlling the game. “Keeping the momentum in our hands. And just shutting them down, basically.”
While limiting the Patriots’ bats, Ildefonso fired up the Mavericks’ sticks with a long home run and a 2-0 lead.
“It’s my first one in a while,” he said. “He gave me a hanging curve on 0-2 and you hang it, you bang it.”
He did, and the Mavericks never looked back. But they had some help from Florida Christian pitching in putting together a 7-run second inning. Five walks enabled the Mavericks to grow their lead to 9-0 with just three hits in the inning.
One was a lead-off homer by Christian Cordova.
“I was looking for a pitch I could drive; that’s what I’ve been working on lately,” said Cordova, who was sitting on the fastball and got one he could drive. “Waiting on a fastball, hoping he’d throw me one in my zone and that’s exactly what he did.”
A single by Keanu Rodriguez, and a bunt single by Justin Lebron, who had two of the Mavericks’ six hits, helped fuel the merry-go-round of walks from three Patriots pitchers in the inning.
“We turned a 3-0 ballgame into a 9-0 ballgame,” said Florida Christian manager Chris Brigman. “We ran into a really, really good arm. You compound that with double-digit walks, it’s hard to be successful.”
All totaled, six Patriots pitchers combined for 12 walks.
Archbishop McCarthy improves to 4-3 and will host Dr. Krop Lightning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday while Florida Christian slips to 1-4 and welcomes in Killian for a 7 p.m. Friday game.