Baseball: Bishop McLaughlin knocks off nationally top-ranked Calvary Christian

After bidding adieu to most players from the 2021 season, conventional wisdom suggested Bishop McLaughlin’s baseball program was in store for a rebuilding season last year, a campaign in which unseasoned players could gain experience under the cover of lowered expectations.

There were 28 baseball players, barely enough for Robert Ducey to field full varsity and junior varsity squads. 

Most of those players were freshmen and sophomores. 

To make sure his younger players were not glued to the bench, Ducey gave them pivotal roles, ensuring the Hurricanes would go through a series of highs and lows while learning by trial and error.

Mostly, they struggled, going 6-16 while being outscored 154-70. 

But they showed signs of improving. 

After losing its season opener, Bishop McLaughlin entered Thursday’s matchup with Calvary Christian on a four-game win streak. 

Few gave the Hurricanes a chance to knock off the Warriors, the nation’s No. 1 ranked team according to MaxPreps. Calvary Christian had a star-studded roster filled with players who have already signed or will be committed to colleges by the end of the season. Some are even touted as high draft picks. 

The Warriors were too talented. Too deep. Too much. 

Bishop McLaughlin did not listen. The Hurricanes believed. 

Better still, they made it happen, beating previously undefeated Calvary Christian 2-1. 

Travis Mabin threw a three-hitter, allowing one unearned run while striking out four. On offense, Bishop Mclaughlin recorded four hits and Logan McGann and Jiovanni Castellano each scored in the fifth inning, enough of a cushion to hold on to win.

“It’s a big win, but we preach not to get too confident, to have an even keel,” Ducey said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Last year, the Hurricanes did not have anything to play for on varsity. They were still on probation from recruiting violations stemming from the previous coaching staff. 

Ducey said the turnaround came when the junior varsity won its tournament last season, which was a goal of the program.

“I think that helped win over some skeptics,” Ducey said.

Now, Bishop McLaughlin has a lengthy win streak, culminated with a win over the nation’s top team. 

Still, Ducey knows success can be fleeting. 

“We’re going to get right back to work,” he said.