Baseball Tied for First in District Standings After Shaw Sweep
Jesuit’s baseball team opened Catholic League play with two victories, one big (14-0) and one come-from-behind (6-3), over the Shaw Eagles. Winning both games meant more than just completing a sweep and capturing five straight victories. It placed the Blue Jays (13-6, 3-0) in a tie with John Curtis for first in district.
The Jays followed their Shaw sweep with a series-opening victory over Holy Cross, 8-3. Game 2 of the away-home series is set for 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 at John Ryan Stadium.
Adding On to Big Innings
Game 2: Jesuit 6, Shaw 3
Friday, March 23
At least one big inning has been the constant in every recent victory for the Blue Jay baseball team. In the Jays’ come-from-behind win over Shaw, the team remained patient behind the arm of Will Moran and finally found its hitting climax in the 5-run fifth. Though two Shaw runs followed in the top of the sixth, Jesuit held on 6-3 to complete the Eagle sweep.
“The last four games, we’ve been coming out and scoring a bunch of runs,” head coach Kenny Goodlett said. “It seems like we’re comfortable at the plate. We’re just trying to add on to big innings. We’re getting key hits at the right time, and that’s what we want to continue.”
Coach Goodlett, now 6-1 after the Holy Cross win, captured his first Catholic League victory at John Ryan Stadium as Jesuit’s head coach. Goodlett also checked off his first district sweep as head coach.
Moran (4-0) earned the win after 5⅓ innings of “outstanding” relief for starter Lee Blosser. “Moran came in the first inning with the bases loaded, so getting us out of there with only one run was huge! He didn’t give up that big hit and didn’t let them open the floodgates early. He was outstanding…can’t say enough about him,” said Coach Goodlett.
With Moran’s clutch performance leading up to the bottom of the 5th, the Jays put their rally caps on as Zach Casebonne took to the batter’s box. Facing a tough Shaw pitcher and a setting sun, Casebonne smashed a two-run double that opened the Jesuit floodgates. Moran, the winning pitcher, and first baseman Brian Valigosky each added an RBI in the rally. Casebonne’s hit seemed to spoil a streaky performance by Shaw’s righty in the 5th inning that included five Jesuit hits and eventually five total runs.
Taking the mound in Shaw’s two-run 6th inning, reliever Andrew Cashman retired the last four Eagle batters to earn the save.
Starting Off Hot
Game 1: Jesuit 14, Shaw 0
Tuesday, March 20
After a scoreless first, the Jays’ defense caught the Eagles 3-up, 3-down in the second. They quickly returned to the dugout for the top of the 3rd, when Alex Watermeier went yard for a 3-run homer in the eventual 5-run inning. The Jays’ big-inning festival continued with four runs in the 5th and five in the 6th, and the Catholic League opener would end in six due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Sophomore southpaw Brian Valigosky (4-1) owned the mound on Tuesday night at Shaw. Valigosky recorded eight strikeouts and allowed just one hit in six innings. The fielders behind Valigosky also played error-free in the opening shutout victory.
Shortstop Seth Dardar backed up the Watermeier bomb with an RBI single to put the Jays ahead 5-0 at the end of three.
Besides the two 5th-inning hitters, six other Blue Jays added RBI base hits. Third baseman Will Hellmers continued his march this month with a 2-hit, 2-RBI showing, and second baseman Matt Alexander had 2 hits with one RBI. Other members of the slug fest included one-hit, one-RBI batters Michael Torry, Chris Favalora, Eddy Seoane, and Brenden Berggren.
Jesuit totaled 14 runs off of 13 hits and 12 RBIs.
Closer Zach DeBlieux finished off the bottom frame of the 6th, the last inning of the 14-0 game.
Head coach Kenny Goodlett took time after the game to comment on the new style of district play, which started last season. The two-year-old setup requires district teams to play twice in the same week, with each team getting one home game. The big difference with the new district format, Goodlett asserted, is that batters will not see the same pitcher in both games. Jesuit’s coach added that there is no secret or strategy to playing the same team in the same week. If the Jays continue to play their style of baseball, Goodlett said, they will stay true to themselves. And that is the key.