Monday, April 30, 2012

Bengals Gain 1,000th Win

When Benedictine defeated Brooklyn 10-4 on Saturday, April 28, the Bengals earned the school’s baseball program its 1,000th victory.
“This is a victory to remember,” said Brian Sliwinski, who has won 182 games as coach of the Bengals since 2000. “It is certainly one of my most meaningful wins,” he added. Sliwinski has a career record of 269-190-1.
“Winning 1,000 games is a tremendous achievement,” said Sliwinski. “Benedictine High School has such a great tradition both on and off the field that it is not an unexpected accomplishment.”
Added Sliwinski, “The players who played in this milestone game will always be a part of this special athletic history of the school.”
Sliwinski tipped his cap to former Coach Augie Bossu, who died in January 2008 at age 91 and earned the vast majority of the victories. Bossu, who was the baseball coach from 1954 until 1994, compiled a record of 681-300-7.
The Benedictine baseball all-time record presently stands at 1,000-527-8. The baseball team began playing in the 1937 season.
Bossu is a member of the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri. When Bossu stepped down as head football coach in 1994, he had an Ohio record of 308-117-28 and was the state’s winningest football coach at that time.
“Coach Bossu’s accomplishments are exceptional,” said Sliwinski. “We wear Coach’s initials (AB) on our game caps and batting helmets as a reminder for what he did for our school and program,” he added.
Sliwinski is the second leading coach in Benedictine history with 182 wins (including the milestone 1,000th).
Sliwinski talked about the influence of Bossu on his own coaching career.
“Coach Bossu taught me two valuable lessons when I was hired at Benedictine: No. 1:  keep the game simple - don't try to re-invent it. No. 2: If you’re not going to do it in a game - don't do it in practice,” said Sliwinski.
The quest for 1,000 started about eight years ago when baseball player Randy Cooper (Benedictine Class of ’05) began this research project during his senior year before he entered Dartmouth College.
“Randy did about 90% of the research of the baseball program including overall records and records vs. opponents,” Sliwinski said. “Then our sports historian Wally Mieskoski completed the project.”
Although Augie Bossu enjoyed state championship success on the football field (state titles in 1957, 1973, 1980, and 1981), he could never get that elusive state baseball title. Five times (1955, 56, 62, 64, 78) he took Bengals teams to the Final Four. Three times (1956, 64, 78) his teams lost in the state title game. In 1948, the Bengals, under another legendary coach Joe Rufus, lost in the state semi-finals.

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