Blunt Trauma for Bearcats
Myles Blunt Pitches a Complete Shutout as Jesuit Eliminates Ruston, 8-0
Bulletin: The Blue Jays will host West Monroe in the regional round series of the Class 5A state playoffs this weekend at John Ryan Stadium. Game #1 is scheduled Friday, May 1 with first pitch at 6 p.m. Game #2 will be played Saturday, May 2 with first pitch at 1 p.m. If necessary, the series-deciding Game #3 will start one hour after the conclusion of Game #2. Admission for each series game is $7 for adults, students, and children (ages 6-11). Student IDs and season passes will not be accepted at the gate for the LHSAA playoff series. Game #2 on Saturday will be streamed live (audio and video) on SportsNola.com.
Jesuit pitcher Myles Blunt, backed by an error-free defense and an offense toting big aluminum sticks, made quick work of the Ruston Bearcats in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs on Tuesday at John Ryan Stadium.
In a game that lasted a mere 80 minutes, Blunt went the distance of seven innings, needing only 71 pitches to retire the 25th seeded Bearcats from the playoffs.
Of course, he got by with a little help from his friends, like teammates Alex Galy, Scott Crabtree, Hayden Fuentes, and Harrison Daste – the four accounted for seven of the Jays’ 10 hits. Galy swatted two singles and stole two bases. Crabtree hit a single that drove in the first run in the opening inning. In the second inning, “Crab” hit a bases-loaded double that yielded two RBIs. Fuentes hit a single and a big triple that started the Jays’ engines in the second inning. Daste had an RBI double and an RBI sacrifice bunt.
The other three hits were off the bats of Ben Hess, Trent Forshag, and Dan Edmund. Brandon Briuglio was given three trips to first base on ball four.
“It felt pretty good, I was comfortable with my defense behind me,” said Blunt matter-of-factly. “I give them credit for everything that happened today. It was a great win. It feeds our confidence.”
Blunt said the second inning visit to the mound from Coach Joey Latino worked. “He told me to relax, and I did,” said Blunt, who improved his record to 6-1 with the win.
“I think it was just a little bit of nerves and rightfully so,” Coach Latino agreed. “This young man got up on a big stage for us today. Once he settled in and started pounding the strike zone, things just fell into place for him. We stress this to all of our pitchers regardless of their style, regardless of what they are able to do pitch-wise: let your defense play. Our defense has been rock solid all year and they were again today.”
So rock solid a defense that the Bearcats advanced no further than second base. In the first inning, Ruston had runners on first and second with two outs when a fly ball was hit to shallow left field. Crabtree made a diving catch to put out the fire and end the inning.
“That’s bigger than most people think,” said Coach Latino of Crabtree’s golden glove. “It’s an early run we keep off the board, we’re able to scratch for a run in the bottom of the first, and going into the second inning, you already got your opponent playing catch up. The four runs in the second were big. Even bigger was that we didn’t sit on that five run lead. We kept pushing and our guys kept having good at-bats. We got a few more opportunities to drive in runs and we did.”
The Jays are 25-7 and have won eight consecutive games against very good teams. Jesuit, seeded #8, advances to the second round of the playoffs, a best of three series against #9 seed West Monroe, winners over Chalmette, 15-5. The games are scheduled to be played Friday and Saturday (May 1-2) at John Ryan Stadium.
“We do feel good,” said Coach Latino, “but we temper that knowing the importance of getting back to work tomorrow and Thursday. Regardless of the opponent coming down Friday and Saturday, we know it’s going to be a good one. This one is behind us now. It was a great performance by Myles, it was a good solid performance all around. But it’s over and now we have to focus on getting back to work tomorrow.”
N.O. Advocate: Jesuit blanks Ruston in baseball playoff opener