The Irish (2-1) only had five hits off Buffalo pitching, but made them count.
Andy Hoyer stroked a two-run single in the first inning and Connor Golden laced a three-run triple in the third when a Buffalo outfielder misjudged his deep fly ball. Bison starter Lucas Jividen walked four and hit two in two-plus innings.
The rebuilding Bison, who spent much of last year in the Gazette's Class A state ratings, also committed four errors, leading to three unearned runs. Veteran coach Jimmy Tribble could probably see it coming.
"We've got too many guys who haven't played and a catcher who's never caught before in his life,'' Tribble said. "You just don't take things too seriously. You relax with it and let them grow and play about 25, 30 games and maybe by the end of the year ... I'm disappointed that we had our chances to get out of some innings but we gave them runs by just botching plays, dropping the ball and not paying attention.
"I told our kids what we'll try to do is get a 1-2-3 inning, then back that up with two in a row, then maybe we can get to three without dropping the ball or throwing it around. I'm not throwing my 1-2-3 pitchers, either, especially in this kind of temperature because I don't have my arms ready. My basketball guys aren't ready, whereas [Catholic] has a veteran team, and I've got to develop some arms.''
Sophomore Beau Whittington worked two hitless innings of relief for Buffalo. The only Bison hitters to reach Hovorka were Blaik Caplinger and Levi Jordan, both with singles.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.