Baseball Falls Twice to Curtis, Looks Ahead to Brother Martin
Jesuit Baseball dropped two close games to John Curtis, the current leader in Catholic League standings, in a district series that included 20 total innings. The Jays fell 1-0 in the 13-inning series opener at John Ryan Stadium, and they fought hard in Game 2 at Miley Playground but were defeated, 12-8.
Game 1, on April 7, was a Saturday of scoreless innings.
Jesuit (16-10, 5-4) started lefty Will Moran against a tough Patriots batting lineup, and Moran shined on the mound once again. He pitched eight scoreless innings against John Curtis, who racked up 49 runs in its five district games leading up to Jesuit. Moran (5-0) recorded six strikeouts and allowed just four hits in his steady performance. Right-handers Shane Lanson and Andrew Cashman relieved Moran for the last five innings. Lanson made a game-saving tag-out at home plate when catcher Parker Serio recovered a wild pitch and quickly delivered it to Lanson.
Jesuit loaded the bases in the first and saw a base-runner reach third in the second. However, the Jays saw only two advance as far as second in the final 11 innings. Michael Torry, Will Moran, Zack Casebonne, Matt Alexander, Brian Valigosky, and Seth Dardar were the six Blue Jays to record base hits in the 3-hour game.
Cashman came in for the 11th after Lanson ended the top of the 10th with a great tag-out. Cashman threw two scoreless innings, but in the 13th, John Curtis finally earned a run. Jesuit was unable to match the Patriots’ effort, but the Blue Jays kept their heads held high as they looked forward to Game 2 at Mike Miley.
And sure enough, Jesuit kicked things off the right way in Game 2 with Michael Torry and Parker Serio hitting singles and Hellmers bringing both home with a 2-RBI double. Zack Casebonne was hit by a pitch in the inning that left runners on first and second. After the opening frame, the Jays led 2-0.
Pitcher Brian Valigosky, who typically starts at first base, helped the Jays go three up and three down in the first inning. In the 2nd, Valigosky worked out of a jam with runners on second and third, bringing Alex Watermeier up to bat with a 2-0 lead. Watermeier hit a single, stole second, and eventually advanced to third. Casebonne brought him home on an RBI single, and Alexander added a single in the inning.
Unfortunately for the Jays, that 3-0 lead after three was too good to be true against the undefeated district team.
Jesuit allowed three runs on a home run and a bases-loaded walk in the third, and Andrew Cashman came in as reliever. The next two innings saw the Patriots prove why they are undefeated. They earned nine runs in the 4th and 5th with three runs coming from Blue Jay errors. Relievers Collin Miller, Zach DeBlieux, and Lee Blosser toed the mound over a 3-inning stretch as Jesuit finally found its bat with two innings to play.
The Jays scored four in the 6th to make the score 8-12. Watermeier smashed a 2-RBI double, Moran knocked in Watermeier on a single, and Hellmers brought Moran home for the fourth run. While Jesuit shortened the deficit, the Patriots held on to win by four.
Curtis’s two wins gave them 12 straight in-state victories and continued an undefeated district run. Last season in early April, John Curtis used four home runs to defeat Jesuit, 11-2; so, if any positive came out of this year’s Jesuit-Curtis series, the Jays have not only inched closer, but have also tested the Patriots more than any other team has in district play.
The highly anticipated game against Brother Martin awaits Jesuit on Friday, April 13 at John Ryan. Game 2 of the series will be played the next day, April 14, at Kirsch-Rooney. Game 1 will be broadcast live by NOLA.com.