Werder shines on mound as Tigers beat St. Edward’s 8-1

Holy Trinity shortstop Sal Carlson tags out St. Edward's Aidan Burdick at second base during Thursday night's game at the USSSA Space Coast Complex. Holy Trinity pitcher Cass Werder allowed four hits over seven innings as the Tigers won the game 8-1.

Cass Werder hadn’t pitched in a little while … but it sure didn’t look like it.

The Holy Trinity sophomore right-hander allowed just four hits and one run over seven innings Thursday night as the Tigers defeated St. Edward’s of Vero Beach 8-1 at the USSSA Space Coast Complex.

“I felt great,” Werder said. “This was really like a comeback to me personally because I hadn’t played in a few weeks. Last year, I didn’t play at all because of my shoulder injury.

“Tonight, it really felt like a big win.”

Werder, who had not pitched since March 19, struck out six on the night and needed just 79 pitches to get the complete game for the Tigers (8-8). The lone run against him came on a double steal.

“He threw extremely well tonight,” Holy Trinity coach Tommy Kelce said.

Senior Cal Rethwisch III went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs for the Tigers. Eighth-grader Keaton White had a two-run single. Junior Hunter Leech had a hit, stole two bases and scored twice.

Holy Trinity also got RBI hits from junior Cole Hewatt, senior Willson Hattaway and sophomore Sal Carlson.

Also getting hits for the Tigers were senior Jonathan Bowden, sophomore Luc Iten and Werder.

Holy Trinity also successfully pulled off a double steal that saw Leech score the game’s second run.

It was the fifth time this season the Tigers have played at the USSSA Space Coast Complex and, overall, Kelce has been happy with what he’s seen from his team over the course of the year on the mound.

“We’ve been playing good. Our pitching has been outstanding,” Kelce said. “Hunter Leech has thrown four complete games of 78 pitches or less.

“The thing that has surprised me has been the hitting part. We’re not hitting like I want to. And we’ve made some mental mistakes on the field. But our pitching has been very solid.”

Holy Trinity scored a run in the second on an RBI single by Carlson and another in the fourth on Leech’s steal of home.

St. Edward’s would score in the sixth to cut Holy Trinity’s lead in half, but Werder still seemed in control.

“There were a couple of innings where I felt bit shaky, but then I just kind of came out on top,” said Werder, who relied on a fastball/changeup combination throughout the game.

With the wind blowing out left to right at the stadium Thursday night, the Tigers appeared to get caught up in trying to hit the ball over the fence instead of trying to find an opening in the defense in a park that’s bigger than their home field. That led to some hard-hit balls that landed in outfielder’s gloves.

However, things started to go Holy Trinity’s way in the sixth inning as the Tigers put six runs across.

Leech reached on an error and took third on a single by Bowden, who moved up to second on the play. White then delivered a two-run single to put the Tigers up 4-1 and Holy Trinity was on its way to a big inning.

Hewatt had an opposite field bloop single to drive in a run. Rethwisch then got hold of a pitch and drove it just out of the reach of a St. Edward’s outfielder for a two-run triple. Hattaway then followed with an RBI single.

“Usually, you can tell when a team’s about to go off,” Werder said. “As soon as we go those two men on, I was like, ‘OK, we’re going to get it going right now.’”

Given the big lead, Werder had no trouble closing the game out in the seventh.

“It was a very good game,” Kelce said. “I was happy.”

The Tigers will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to play Melbourne Central Catholic. That’s followed by road games at Bayside (April 9) and Cocoa (April 12) before Holy Trinity returns home to play Heritage (April 13).