NORTH PORT — Cardinal Mooney broke open a close game with three in the final two innings Tuesday night to shut out North Port 4-0 in a preseason game.
Bobcats starting pitcher Charlie Topp, a senior, pitched the first four innings and only allowed one run. That came in the top of the first inning.
Tommy Hubbard clubbed a single to open the game, and advanced to second on a ground out. Robbie Vassalla then belted a single to score Hubbard with the game’s first run.
The Bobcats had a chance to score in the bottom of the first. Charlie Davidson doubled to open the inning, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Topp and Dominic LeFever each followed with singles, but the next two North Port batters struck out to leave them stranded.
The Cougars collected some insurance in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Tommy Onufrak. Cardinal Mooney, helped by a pair of hit batsmen, scored two more runs in the top of the seventh to seal the issue.
Tyler O’Boyle followed Topp to the mound for two innings before Jayden Blashinsky got the first two outs of the seventh before giving way to Kody Brittain for the final out. The Bobcats outhit the Cougars 5-4, but were hurt by three errors. Cardinal Mooney had only one.
“I think Charlie (Topp) pitched pretty well overall,” Bobcats coach Dan Pavlue said. “They (Cardinal Mooney) got off to kind of a fast start but he did pretty much what we wanted him to do.”
Davidson and Patrick Smith both clubbed doubles for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats will host Out-of-Door Academy at 7 p.m. today. North Port opens the regular season Tuesday in a 1 p.m. Blue-Silver game against visiting Lemon Bay. The game is being played at 1 p.m. so some North Port honor students can attend.
CARDINAL MOONEY 4, NORTH PORT 0
Cardinal Mooney 100 001 2 — 4 4 1
North Port 000 000 0 — 0 5 3
WP: Alex Rodman. LP: Charlie Topp. Leading hitters: CM: Robbie Vassalla 1-4, RBI; NP: Charlie Davidson 1-3, 2B; Patrick Smith (NP) 1-3, 2B.