For the Jays, a Venice Fly Trap
Visiting Indians Hand the Jays a 4-1 Loss
After leaving Lake Charles with four solid wins under their wings, the Blue Jays returned to John Ryan Stadium to begin a four-game home stand.
On Tuesday, March 15, Jesuit welcomed the Venice Indians, all the way from below the Panhandle in Venice, FL. The visitors felt very much welcomed in the Crescent City. On Monday, they shut out John Curtis, 6-0, and against a Jesuit team still groggy from tourney play, the Indians wasted little time jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Indians scored a run in the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead, 4-0. The Jays scored their lone run in the bottom of the fifth and the last two innings went scoreless.
The 4-1 loss was Jesuit’s fourth defeat of the season. But only one of the losses (against Hahnville on March 5) is counted in the Jays’ official 10-1 record. Three losses to out-of-state teams are not counted.
“The last thing we want to do is make excuses,” said Coach Joey Latino. “Yes, the Venice game doesn’t count in terms of power points. Yes, we have five very important games coming up over the next several days. We still have to be better at how we approach this type of game and I think we didn’t do a good job at that. We had opportunities — too many strike outs in key situations, a couple of missed fly balls that extended the innings. Things that we have to correct. We have to be better at those things. We practice them. Believe me, we practice them, but we have to practice more.”
Against Venice, the Jays had to scramble for a total of four hits, including a triple by second baseman Brandon Briuglio in the sixth inning. The other three hits were off the bats of outfielders Stephen Sepcich and Bryce Musso, and pinch hitter Chance Melancon. Courtesy runner Jake Chanove scored Jesuit’s sole run from third base on a ground out fielder’s choice. The Jays left a total of eight runners stranded.
“Offensively, we were not able to get the big hits when we needed them,” said Coach Latino. “Our four hits were not cheap, but we needed to take advantage in the bottom of the sixth when we had Sepcich and Briuglio on second and third and nobody out. We didn’t score — strike out, strike out, ground out.”
Collin Kulivan made his first start for the Jays and went five innings, giving up the Indians’ four runs on six hits. Only one of those runs was earned. Kulivan, a right-hander, had one strikeout and one walk. He took the loss, his first, and was relieved by Lee Blosser, a left-hander, for the final two innings. Blosser allowed two hits, no runs, and walked one batter.
“Collin is still a little green, but I think he is going to be a nice addition to the staff,” said Coach Latino. “He came out late because of basketball, so there’s a lot about the game that he’s catching up on. Overall, I think he pitched effectively. Lee (Blosser) came in and did a good job over the last couple of frames. I wasn’t as disappointed with our pitching as much as the other stuff.”
The Jays play their next three games at the Ryan, hosting Lutcher in a non-district on Wednesday, March 16, with the first pitch at 5 p.m.
The Gerard Oubre Memorial Tournament begins Thursday with the Jays hosting Byrd High of Shreveport. On Friday, Jesuit plays Zachary at the Ryan. Game times are 5 p.m. The tournament concludes Saturday, March 19, with Jesuit traveling to Hahnville for a double-header. The Jays play Central Lafourche at 8:30 a.m., followed by West Ouachita at 11 a.m.
The tournament is just the right “stuff” the Jays need because their opening district game is next Tuesday, March 22, against John Curtis at Mike Miley Stadium with the first pitch at 7 p.m.