Jays Split Games With Tigers, Focus Forward
After splitting games with the Holy Cross Tigers, the Blue Jays have no choice but to focus forward. Their district schedule requires they keep working into the holiday, which includes back-to-back games against Rummel at Kirsch-Rooney. Jesuit beat Holy Cross 8-3 on Tiger turf over the weekend, but fell 5-1 Tuesday night on Alumni Field (John Ryan Stadium).
Jesuit’s schedule coupled Tuesday’s contest with a Wednesday-Thursday series against Rummel. This heavy load can have pros and cons with little time to decipher the two, but the fact is that Jesuit can look back for a brief moment to appreciate its progress throughout the madness of March.
When Destrehan gave Jesuit its third straight loss on March 15, the Jays had committed 18 errors in the month. Since then, Jesuit is 6-1 with just seven errors. The Jays’ only error in the past four games took place in their 5-run win on Saturday at Holy Cross. Then on Tuesday night at John Ryan, Jesuit played mistake-free but lost the hitting battle by one and the game by four.
Finding the Timely Hit
Game 2: Jesuit 1, Holy Cross 5
Tuesday, March 27
In front of a solid Tuesday night crowd at John Ryan, Jesuit’s baseball team toed the line for the second time against Holy Cross in four days. A left-handed sophomore, Brian Valigosky pitched all of five innings, allowing one earned run and two runs off of a passed ball and sacrifice fly. By the time closer Colin Miller subbed in for reliever Shane Lanson, the Jays trailed the Tigers 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th.
Coming off a home run in the previous game, catcher Parker Serio kept his hitting streak alive in the 6th with an RBI single that scored Alex Watermeier. While the run broke the shutout, the Tigers held on to win 5-1 even after Jesuit loaded the bases in the 7th.
Serio’s 6th-inning single was Jesuit’s lone RBI of the game. Nevertheless, a good showing by Seth Dardar saw two back-to-back hits from the sophomore shortstop.
“In a game like this where they’re getting a run in four straight innings, you’ve got to come up with the timely hit,” said head coach Kenny Goodlett. “And we didn’t, so you tip your cap to them. We have to turn around, put this behind us, and get ready for Rummel.’’
Valigosky (4-2), Jesuit’s starter, finished with four strikeouts in five innings. The Jays’ defense played all seven innings error-free.
First Win on Tiger Turf
Game 1: Jesuit 8, Holy Cross 3
Saturday, March 24
Since the Tigers started playing their games on campus, they have defeated Jesuit every time, until now. Freshman Zach Casebonne did not let their streak phase him in his first-ever game at Holy Cross.
The six-hole right fielder struck first with a 3-run home run in the opening frame. An RBI single came later in the inning from designated hitter Alex Watermeier to put the Jays up 4-0. With some fresh breathing room, starting pitcher Christian Hess controlled the mound with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Hess allowed just five hits in his complete game, giving up only three runs in Jesuit’s 8-3 victory.
Lead-off center fielder Michael Torry and catcher Parker Serio joined Casebonne and Watermeier with hits in the first frame. Torry and Serio took advantage of their early momentum and stood comfortably in the batter’s box for the rest of the outing. Leading 4-1 in the top of the 4th, Jesuit saw Serio confidently step up to the plate only to launch the ball for a solo home run. Serio’s ninth base hit and first home run of the season could not have come at a better time. Hess once again took the mound with a 4-run lead. With good defense by Torry and third baseman Will Hellmers, Jesuit’s starter dealt back-to-back scoreless innings in the 4th and 5th.
Hess surrendered two in the bottom of the 6th, but the power hitting sparked again for Jesuit in the last inning. With just a 2-run lead at the start of the 7th, the top of Jesuit’s lineup proved to be clutch. A single from Torry allowed Watermeier and Will Moran to produce RBI daggers that sealed the win for the Blue Jays. Moran’s 2-RBI double put the Jays up five runs, and Hess closed the game at 8-3.