Riding a 7-Game American Legion Win Streak, Retif Oilers Collide with Brother Martin-based Peake BMW
Jesuit-based Oilers Play Peake on Wednesday, June 17, at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium with 1st Pitch at 7 PM
American Legion baseball has been down and up this summer for the Jesuit-based Retif Oilers. First it was down, way down, with the Oilers kicking off the season 1-4, their worst start in years. But lately the season is looking up with Retif winning seven consecutive games, including an 8-2 victory over 1st NBC (John Ehret) on Monday, June 15.
The Oilers hope to stay in their “up” position when they once again take on Peake BMW (Brother Martin) on Wednesday, June 17, at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium. First pitch is scheduled at 7 p.m.
This second game promises to be another royal Legion battle. Retif and Peake opened the 2015 Legion season against each other back on June 2. Players on both teams won’t forget that game anytime soon, especially the Oilers, who blew a 5-1 lead going into the last inning. Peake scored nine runs in the top of the seventh, leaving tread marks on Retif with a 10-5 steamrolling.
Retif brings an 8-4 record to its Wednesday evening game against Peake. The Oilers are coming off their most recent win, Monday against 1st NBC, a game that was called in the bottom of the sixth inning with Retif at bat. The Legion has a two hour and 15 minute-time cap on seven inning games.
Fifteen batters were walked: eight NBCers, seven Oilers. Those who watched the game witnessed an unusual amount of inconsistency with the calls behind the plate. Coach Joey Latino shrugged it off. “You just have to battle through it,” he said. “Adversity is good at this point of summer because it teaches your guys that anything happens in a game. You have to be ready for it and be able to fight through it and I thought we did that. We scored in every frame up until the fifth inning and that was good, too. We’re starting to come around offensively… We’re showing more discipline at the plate… We didn’t get hits by the bunches, but I thought our at-bats were good. That’s all I’m worried about.”
Against 1st NBC, Hayden Fuentes made his second start in Legion ball. He pitched four innings, allowing only one hit while striking out five batters. One of 1st NBC’s two runs was earned. Fuentes traded positions with third baseman Nick Ray to start the fifth inning. Ray pitched one and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and striking out two batters. Each pitcher walked four batters. David Boh, who graduated with other teammates in the Class of 2015, was summoned to the mound to get the last out. Boh had limited time on the mound in the prep season but did what he was asked to do. He struck out the last batter.
Of Fuentes and Ray, Latino noted that neither “threw a varsity inning in prep season, so they’re just learning. They’re going to struggle from time to time, they’ll mess things up sometimes, but the deeper we get into the summer, they’ll be fine.”
He visited Fuentes a couple of times during the game. “One time I told Hayden, ‘Hey, this is just like throwing in the bullpen. Don’t even think of the batter being up there. We’re gonna call fast balls down the middle and get you into a rythym.’ I thought he did ok, he spun out a few times. But I’m pleased with both of them. They’re still learning.”
The Oilers mustered only seven hits in scoring their eight runs, taking full advantage of at least three errors by 1st NBC. Ben Hess and Dan Edmund each had two hits; Hess singled twice and Edmund smacked a double and a triple. Trent Forshag, Stephen Sepcich, and Nick Ray all hit singles.