Baseball CIF Division IV Play-in Game: Bishop’s Schreiber and the Knights stay close for six innings, fall 5-1

By Ed Piper

Bishop’s Knight sophomore and righthander Robby Schreiber kept visiting the Southwest Raiders close for six innings, but three Raider runs coming with two outs in the seventh inning ended the Knights’ season, 5-1, in a play-in game at Spanos Field on the campus of Kate Sessions School May 27.

Jamie Abrams scored the only Bishop’s run in the fifth inning on Cyrus Nolan’s grounder that was mishandled by Southwest third baseman Daniel Macias. Abrams, the Knights’ catcher, had gotten aboard after striking out on pitcher Jose Ayala’s wild pitch. He then stole second, moved to third on Bulla Graft’s groundout to short, and came home on the miscue.

Schreiber limited Southwest of San Diego to two runs over the first six innings in fashioning his second complete game despite the loss. The 5’11” sophomore was the workhorse of the Knights’ pitching staff, amassing 60 third- innings during the 2014 campaign with a respectable 3.83 ERA, especially in view of his team’s overall 12-15 record.

Graft, switched with sophomore Reed Meyer from second base to shortstop late in the season, continued his hitting and defensive brilliance this year with a fine .325 batting average. Hitting in the third slot, the left-handed batter with a classic stance led the team in runs scored with 29, was second to Stevie Hinshaw and Abrams in RBI with 15, and powered three home runs. He is the player that opposing coaches comment on as a “talented player.” Graft, a junior, leads the young Knights, who have only two seniors, by example.

The development of Meyer was also a highlight of Coach Joey Centanni’s first year at the helm. The 6’1” sophomore had an immediate impact, starting at shortstop and hitting second between Abrams and Graft. The right-hander hurled 50 innings as Centanni’s other regular starter, second only to Schreiber, and had a 5-5 record — almost half of Bishop’s 12 wins. At the plate, Meyer led the Knights in at-bats with 87, hitting .287 with 13 RBI’s and 21 runs scored.

Graft recorded an interesting statistic. In addition to his 11 bases on balls, he was hit by a pitch 10 times — an extremely high number. His 25 hits tied with Meyer for second most behind Abrams, who collected 28.

Said Centanni to his team as they went to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, newly down by two runs after Southwest added another run in the top of the frame: “Don’t let two runs beat you.” But Bishop’s was only able to put a straight number on the scoreboard with Abrams’ run. Still, the Knights were only down 2-1 entering the seventh inning.

Ayala, who pitched a complete game and gave up only four hits to the home squad, had the big blow in the top of the of the final inning, with a single to right to drive in two runs and put the Raiders up 4-1. His hit glanced off Hinshaw’s long first baseman’s glove as Stevie leaped for the line drive high and to his right.

Centanni, with his assistant coaches, has brought a new pride and enthusiasm to the baseball program at Bishop’s. His players enjoy his fire and respect him as their leader. He maintains a quiet intensity, rarely raising his voice. Centanni will be able to build on this season with his core of young players, all of whom will return next year except the two seniors, outfielder Tripp Twyman and Hinshaw.

Other highlights this season included the hitting of Nolan, who had a .329 average with 12 RBI. Though his average wasn’t high, at .268, Hinshaw knocked in 16 runs and was even able to start a game on the mound in his rehab from labrum surgery last year. Freshman outfielder Ryan Feng had 13 RBI’s and outfielder Kalib Varela 10.