Jays Stuff Eagles with the “Shag” Tag
Jesuit and Brother Martin in a District Championship Showdown on Thursday at Privateer Park
Bulletins: First pitch for the Jesuit – Brother Martin game Thursday at UNO’s Privateer Park has been moved up 30 minutes to 6:30 p.m.
The Jesuit – Shaw game played Tuesday at John Ryan Stadium was taped for a broadcast that will air on WHNO-TV (Cox Channel 20) on Friday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.
The Blue Jays were living on the edge in Tuesday night’s game against Archbishop Shaw at John Ryan Stadium. Leading 4-0 after four innings and looking to cruise to another district win, Jesuit flipped on auto pilot. Three innings later, with their wings singed and ruffled by three runs scored by the Eagles, the Blue Jays opened their parachutes and made a safe, if not a thrilling, landing.
It all came down to the last out, a play for the ages if you’re rooting for the Blue Jays; something to forget about if you’re an Eagles fan. Jesuit watched its 4-0 lead evaporate one run at a time. After the fifth inning, it was 4-1; after the sixth inning, 4-2. In the top of the seventh, the Eagles scored one run to make it a 4-3 ball game. Runners were on first and second bases with two outs.
The pitch from Logan Hornung — Bam! A solid hit to center field. The Eagle runner on second base rounds third and is heading home. Meanwhile, the ball is scooped up by Harrison Daste in center field and he throws to first baseman Dan Edmund, who has positioned himself well. As soon as the throw from Daste is in Edmund’s glove, the first baseman pivots and launches a rocket to catcher Trent Forshag, who’s called “Shag” by his teammates. It’s a bulls eye of a throw and reaches Forshag so fast that the senior catcher might have had time to enjoy a chili dog while waiting for the runner.
So here comes the sliding runner. The “Shag” holds his ground and slaps the tag on the Eagle. The tying run at the plate is out. Game over. Tagged by the Shag.
“It was a great play on all three ends,” said Coach Joey Latino. “Harrison (Daste) did a great job on his approach. Dan Edmund put himself in great position, Harrison made a nice throw, and Dan’s footwork I thought was exceptional, getting the ball out of his glove and making a good strong throw to the plate. Trent did a great job to position himself and hold on to the baseball. Plays like that don’t happen by accident. That’s the result of practice, sticking to process, and how many reps we go through, I couldn’t tell you. But I know we do it consistently and we do it on a daily basis.”
The 4-3 win gives the Blue Jays (23-7 overall; 7-2 in district) at least a share of the district championship, which they can be theirs outright provided they take care of business against Brother Martin on Thursday evening in a district finale at UNO’s Privateer Park. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.
Against Shaw, the Jays sent sophomore southpaw Davis Martin to the mound who pitched Jesuit through four and two-thirds innings. He gave up two hits, one unearned run, and struck out five Eagles. Martin got the win for Jesuit, improving his record to 2-1.
“We have some good young arms and Davis is one of them,” said Coach Latino. “That’s a young man who went out on a big stage against a very good team, competed, pitched extremely well, and just let his defense play. That says a lot about him but it also says a lot about our staff (of pitchers).”
Mason Mayfield came in for one and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits, an earned run, and striking out two batters. The final inning fell to Logan Hornung, who has certainly seen his share of closes, enough of them that some of the zip on his fast balls had peeled off. Hornung was nicked for three hits and one earned run.
This was one of those rare occasions where the winning team had one fewer hit than their opponent. Shaw had six hits, the Jays five. The only Jesuit player with two hits was Brandon Briuglio who knocked two singles. The other hits were accounted for by Ben Hess, Scott Crabtree, and Forshag, who also had two RBIs.
“This is a good win; this is a big win because it’s a district win,” said Coach Latino. “Like I said, it gives us a share of the district championship. What I told the players is that we have a share of it, but I want them to smell the finish line and continue to work hard. The game Thursday (against Brother Martin) is obviously very big. And with power points, it’s even bigger. There’s a little bit extra that we’re obviously playing for but the big picture is we want to continue to play well, continue to progress as we move toward the end of the season.”
To Forshag, the last play came down to execution. “We always talk about doing things just like we practice them,” said Forhsag. “Dan and Harrison had the hard part and they executed perfectly. I just had to tag at the end. Not much going through my mind. Just like practice…. I was really watching the runner to be honest. I’m making the call based on what the runner is doing. I just saw him round third and called for it and the ball came right to me from Dan.”
And 20 years from now, when Forshag’s watching Jesuit and Shaw play baseball at the Ryan, what will he be thinking?
“I’ll probably remember that play for a long time,” Shag admitted.
N.O. Advocate: Jesuit’s pitching paces 4-3 victory over Shaw