Baseball victorious against rival

Park completes comeback

Oliver Smith and Danny Shope

After numerous lead changes in an extra innings effort May 20, Park prevailed 5-4 against rival Benilde-St. Margaret’s. With playoffs approaching, head coach Brian Kelly said this game was another step in the right direction.

“We’ve won eight out of our last nine. We’re a hot team. We’ve got one game left on Monday and then playoffs start next Friday. We just want to keep the good momentum going,” Kelly said.

Junior captain Stefano Giovannelli said tensions from the team’s first matchup against Benilde carried over, but focus wasn’t lost.

“Last time at our place when they won, they reacted in a way that was pretty bad. They celebrated on our mound. So we were angry with that and we wanted to show that (that) doesn’t fly with us. We knew we had to still keep playing our game,” Giovannelli said.

Junior catcher Zach Helfmann said the team’s goal was to secure the win and to not focus on any other goals.

“Everyone really just wanted to beat BSM. I think that was everyone’s mentality coming into it — just beat them,” Helfmann said.

After coming back to make the score 3-3 in the sixth inning, Kelly highlighted the team’s previous game where they also recovered late.

“It was a game where they got out early and had all the momentum…Our guys were just able to push a couple across late, and persevere, which was the second time we’ve done that in two games — the Orono game and then this one — to be able to have comeback wins,” Kelly said.

Helfmann recognized the team had trouble in the first few innings, but said determination pushed the team forward to win.

“We struggled early on, but we fought through it, had some big plays, and ended up winning,” Helfmann said.

On the mound for the last pitch, Giovannelli said he admitted feeling nervous, but also a sense of confidence.

“I’d be lying if I said there were no butterflies, but I also was just like, ‘let’s just do it,’” Giovannelli said.

The team’s final game of the regular season will be against Chisago Lakes at 6 p.m. May 23 at Dakota Park.