Errors hamper Trojans in 8-4 loss to JesuitBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Austin Root gave all he had, but Oak Ridge struggled in the field and couldn’t capitalize on an early 3-0 lead and lost to Jesuit 8-4 Wednesday.
The loss sets up a key game Friday in the rubber match of the series, as the teams will play at Oak Ridge to determine the series winner.
The Trojans, 1-1 in league, 7-6 overall, scored three runs in the second inning on three hits. Ross Dwelley singled and John Rico followed with a double to left field to score Dwelley. Later with runners on second and third, Alec deWatteville lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Rico. Mickey Meinhofer’s double then knocked in Chris Roppolo to put the Trojans up 3-0 with the ace, Root, on the mound.
Root pitched well in the first two innings, but had to throw 34 pitches in the third, that sucked most of what he had left out of him, as he was recovering from being sick.
Errors proved to be Oak Ridge’s downfall, as the team committed three to five errors, depending on who scored the game
“We definitely have to get better defensively or we’re going to lose a lot of games,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. “When you allow six unearned runs, you’re probably going to lose.”
Jesuit, 1-1 in league, 8-2 overall, scored four runs in the third inning on only one hit, a two-run double by Lorenzo Arcuri. Three errors, a walk and a wild pitch, along with the double, accounted for the runs in the inning.
Oak Ridge nearly tied the game in the top half of the fourth, but Meinhofer was easily thrown out at home for the third out of the inning, while trying to score on Tanner Ales’ single to left field.
Jesuit tacked on two more runs to make it 6-3 after four and added another pair in the fifth inning. Oak Ridge’s final run came in the seventh when Logan Marston tripled and scored on a throwing error.
Marston and Meinhofer each had two hits to lead the way and Meinhofer also added the defensive highlight of the game for the Trojans with a diving play to his left to field a ground ball and throw a runner out.
Root pitched the first four innings before being relieved by Connor Davis and Brogan Cooper, who both threw one inning.
“We’ve got Sullivan throwing Friday and he’s going to have to locate,” Melton said. “Now it all comes down to Friday and we’re going to have to turn the page on today (Wednesday).”
Friday’s game is at 4 p.m. at Oak Ridge.