Good to see Sweeney back on the mound

Posted by: Press Democrat correspondent Dewey Forget

One of the nice moments of the baseball season occurred Friday afternoon in the Cardinal Newman-Redwood Division II North Coast Section playoffs. Newman pitcher, senior Sean Sweeney, took the mound in relief of starter Jason Alexander to get the final out and preserve the Cardinals 4-3 win.
Sweeney hadn’t seen any live action since May 11th when he went down in a violent collision at first base in the Montgomery game that gave Newman won for a share of the North Bay League championship. Sweeney did throw a couple of innings in an inter-squad game this past week, according to buddy Nick DeLorenzo.
When Sweeney walked toward the hill in the top of the seventh inning with the game hanging in the balance, fans began talking. “Hey, that’s Sweeney coming in,” could be heard in the stands where I was setting. It was a special moment for Sweeney, had to be. For a moment in the collision he said he couldn’t feel his legs. How scary is that? It turned out to be badly strained back.
Now Sweeney is back. He looked pretty good in his short stint. With a speedy runner on first in a possible steal situation, Sweeney made a nice move on a throw to first to keep Alex Boeri close, and then ended the game with a fastball that Billy Ryan hit softly to right. I’m sure Cardinals’ coach T.J. MaMahon is happy to see Sweeney back, as well. With No.1 seed Alameda next up, McMahon can surely use another arm.
Game notes: Alexander was called for two balks against Redwood. After the second balk, Alexander picked off the runner at second. It appeared he was tagged out in the run-down and both team s reacted accordingly. Most everyone saw the ump make the out sign. Newman ran off the field and Redwood began taking the field, only to have the umpires reverse the call. Alexander got out of the inning without giving up a run.
And, finally Tyler Bowman was the centerpiece on two plays – the first when he threw out Tad Finnie at the plate from right field and the second when he was thrown out at first on a smash to right. Bowman hit the ball so hard it got to Robbie Chrisman in a heartbeat. Chrisman was playing very shallow and made a strong throw to nip Bowman at first. Hey, Tyler, next time don’t hit it so hard.