Jesuit Invitational: Blue Jays Clawed by Eagles, 6-3

Posted March 4, 2016 / Last updated March 4, 2016

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Jays Play Mandeville on Friday at John Ryan Stadium with First Pitch at 4 PM

Connor Maginnis belly slides into third base for a triple that brought in a run.

Connor Maginnis belly slides into third base for a triple that brought in a run.

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The Eagles of St. Thomas Catholic (Houston) swooped into John Ryan Stadium on Thursday as one of six teams participating in the 5th annual Jesuit Invitational.

Talk about predatory.

The Eagles wasted no time feasting on their hosts, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and adding another run in the third. Blue Jays, scrappy and ornery as ever, didn’t roll over. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Jays struck back with four hits, including singles by third baseman Hayden Fuentes and catcher Chance Melancon (with an RBI), an RBI double by designated hitter Austin North, and an RBI triple by right fielder Connor Maginnis.

The three-run inning gave the Jays the lead, 3-2, but not for long.

Designated hitter Austin North smacks a double in the fourth inning that scores a run.

Designated hitter Austin North smacks a double in the fourth inning that scores a run.

St. Thomas answered with a run in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game, 3-3. The Eagles added two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh inning. Six runs on six hits for the Eagles topped Jesuit’s three runs on four hits. The 6-3 win by the Eagles was Jesuit’s first loss of the 2016 season. It was also the first time the Jays lost their opening game in the annual tournament.

“We learned a lot about ourselves tonight,” said Coach Joey Latino. “We seized the momentum in the fourth inning, took the lead, and we gave it right back to them. I told the players that good teams typically own the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, and that’s what we didn’t do tonight. A few guys came through and gave us a 3-2 lead on some really big hits. Then we let St. Thomas tie it and we let them go ahead.  We never really mustered anything after that.”

Senior right-hander Matt Miceli started on the mound for the Blue Jays. He pitched three innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out one batter. Junior Todd Crabtree relieved Miceli in the top of the fourth and pitched the remaining four innings. Crabtree, a right-hander, allowed four runs on three hits, while striking out five Eagles. Crabtree (0-1) took the loss.

“We had only four hits, which isn’t going to win too many ball games,” said Coach Latinio. “Those hits came in one inning and the other six frames, we were hitless. Our pitching was what it was. I don’t want to take a single thing away from St. Thomas because I thought they were competitive. Their at bats were good, their swings were good, they hits balls hard, they challenged us, and they basically played us off our feet.”

The Jays play their second game of the tournament on Friday, March 4, against the Mandeville Skippers. First pitch is 4 p.m. Admission for the Jesuit Invitational: $5 for adults; $5 for students from non-participating schools; $3 for students with IDs from participating schools; and $3 for children ages 6-11.

On Saturday, March 5, the Jays will play a rematch against St. Thomas with the first pitch at 11 a.m. The Jays will close the tournament when they welcome Hahnville to the Ryan. The Jesuit-Hahnville game, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., will be broadcast on WGSO 990 AM radio as well as streamed on the station’s website.