Jays “Not Going Down Without a Fight”
Rebels Throw Cold Water on the Jays, Taking the First Game, 9-7, in a Best of 3 Series
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning against West Monroe, the Jays were down 9-2 and had their work cut out for them. But a furious Jesuit rally fell short, netting five runs when seven were needed to send the game into extra innings. The Jays’ third out was a pop-up to left field with the bases loaded.
And just like that, West Monroe, seeded ninth in the Class 5A tournament, won the opening game, 9-7, of a “Best of 3 Series” at John Ryan Stadium. Game 2 will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. Game 3, and Jesuit, the eighth seed, hopes it will be necessary to play, will start one hour after the end of Game 2.
In the process, the Rebels snapped Jesuit’s 8-game winning streak that goes back to the Archbishop Shaw game on April 7.
The Jays made some uncharacteristic mistakes early in the game that resulted in four gift-wrapped runs for West Monroe.
“You just can’t make those mistakes, and we haven’t been making those mistakes,” said Coach Joey Latino. “That’s what’s disappointed me right now. We played extremely well in this little eight-game win streak that we had up until tonight. We played really solid baseball especially on the defensive end and we didn’t do that tonight. Against a team like (West Monroe) you can’t make any mistakes, much less the half dozen we made.”
Jack Burk, who started on the mound, took the loss for the Jays, his first this season against five wins. Burk struggled to find his rhythm in the brief two and two-thirds innings that he pitched. The right-hander gave up five runs on five hits while striking out two batters.
“Jack was making some good pitches and West Monroe just kept battling,” said Coach Latino. “It wasn’t so much him, it’s what they do offensively. They are some very tough outs and they’re very competitive at the plate. And I thought when Jack made some really good pitches they were able to find a hole and get some hits. Burk wasn’t the sharpest but he wasn’t bad either.”
Burk was relieved by Logan Hornung, who pitched four and one-third inning. He gave up four runs on five hits. Of the nine runs scored by West Monroe, only two were earned.
Jesuit had a total of 12 hits, two more than the Rebels. Leading the Jays offensively were Alex Galy, who had four hits, including a triple, in five at-bats. He was hit on the back by a pitch in his fifth at-bat. Brandon Briuglio and Scott Crabtree each had two base hits. Dan Edmund had one double and Ben Hess, Nick Ray, and Jake Licciardi each had a single.
“I’m proud of the way the kids battled, any coach would be,” said Coach Latino. “There’s a lot of character in that dugout. We’re not going down without a fight. We brought a pretty good hitter up to the plate with two outs in the last inning and the tying run is 180 feet away at second base. We hope that little bit of momentum will carry into the first game (on Saturday). We just need to jump out early tomorrow and get things back in our favor.”
Jesuit’s starting pitcher In Game 2 looks to be Brandon Briuglio.