Monday May 07 2012
Trojan bats stay hot as they win eighth straight
By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
The Oak Ridge baseball team is entering the final week of the 2012 regular season with a wave of confidence and momentum. On Monday the Trojans extended their winning streak to eight games ?their longest such streak at the Division I level ? at home against Ponderosa, 15-1. The Trojans posted at least three runs in each inning at the dish, beginning with a leadoff triple to right field from shortstop Alec de Watteville, who was driven home on Lance Berringer?s single. The Trojans loaded the bases two batters later before Cody Uharriet plated two more runs with his own two-out single. Alex Fitchett completed the first inning flurry with a two-run double. In the second inning, Berringer beat the force out at second base on Cody Morris? groundball, allowing de Watteville to score from third. Mason Watkins? triple then scored Berringer and Morris to make it 8-0 Oak Ridge after two. Berringer?s two-run homer highlighted the third inning. After de Watteville doubled in a pair of runs, the Trojan center fielder took a 2-0 pitch deep out over right field for his first round-tripper of the season. ?We?re staying aggressive at the plate and putting pressure on the other team. We try to take an opposite field approach and stay inside the ball more,? said Berringer, who finished with three hits and three RBIs. Berringer was solid defensively as well, gunning down a potential Ponderosa run at the plate from center field in the first inning. Morris put a nice tag on the runner at home to help out Trojan starter Jared Ross, who pitched four scoreless innings. Ross yielded just three Bruin hits before handing the ball to Alex FaGalde, who struck out three Ponderosa hitters to end the game after the top of the fifth. ?I started off a little slow but everything worked its way over the plate as the day went on,? said Ross. ?I?ve been throwing a lot more bullpens in practice. (My cutter) is still a work in progress but it?s getting there.? De Watteville scored three times while driving in two more and Fitchett finished with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs. Over the past two weeks, Oak Ridge has averaged 11.5 runs per game while mercy ruling three opponents during its eight-game win streak. ?Our guys are doing what they?re supposed to be doing. The thing that I really like seeing is that they?re putting good swings on the ball and staying within themselves. We?ve been really working on getting our foot down early and adjusting to off-speed pitches. We?ve always been talented but it?s all starting to come together,? said Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton, whose team is now 9-4 in the Delta River League with two games against Ponderosa remaining. ?I think everyone has forgotten about us. Honestly, I think that motivates us,? he continued. ?These kids want to make a statement and be the first (Oak Ridge) team to win the section title.?