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Ready or not, Trojans face Jesuit this week

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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After a 4-1 start to the season, Oak Ridge High’s varsity baseball team has fallen on hard times.

The Trojans have dropped four of their last five games heading into Monday’s game against Jesuit, including two last week to Rocklin, 3-1 and Granite Bay, 8-1.

Oak Ridge’s struggles come at the wrong time, as league play begins this week. The Trojans face perennial Delta River League favorite Jesuit (7-2) three times: at home Monday and Friday and on the road today.

“I like our pitching staff and I think we’ve put together our lineup, now we’ve just got to go out and get the job done,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. “We’re frustrated right now. We’ve run into some good pitching, especially last week, and we’re not hitting quite as well as we were. We’re not playing up to our capability, but we’ve put the hard work in and we’re about to start part two of the season. We have to be focused and take care of business.”

The good thing for Oak Ridge is that a win or two this week against Jesuit and the Trojans will get healthy quick. To do that, they’ll need pitchers Austin Root and Ryan Sullivan. Root didn’t play last week because of an illness, while Sullivan was on the shelf with an inflamed elbow. Melton hopes to have both players back this week, but as of Sunday he wasn’t entirely sure.

Tanner Ales, Austin Vail and Connor Davis threw in the loss to Granite Bay, while Tommy Hummer and Brogan Cooper pitched in the loss to Rocklin. For the exception of Hummer, the others haven’t pitched much this season and got some well-earned timed on the bump.

“It’s tough with Root and Sullivan out, but on the other hand, the rest of the staff got an opportunity to pitch against some quality teams,” Melton said.

Offensively, Oak Ridge’s lone run against Granite Bay came on a home run from Alec deWatteville to lead off the game. Three of Oak Ridge’s six hits came in the first inning. John Rico and Logan Marston had hits in the inning, but Granite Bay got out of a bases-loaded jam.

Ales, Logan Denholm and Jon Seim also had hits for the Trojans.

Oak Ridge tied Rocklin at 1-1 in the top of the fifth when Rico singled in Trevor Callahan, but Rocklin won the game with two runs in the sixth inning. The Trojans only had two other hits in the game, both by Ales.