Trojans ready to get back into league schedule

By: Matt Long
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After a solid performance during the JMC Easter Tournament, Oak Ridge High’s varsity baseball team is fully involved in Sierra Valley Conference play. The Trojans travel to Union Mine on Tuesday and then host the Diamondbacks on Wednesday and Ponderosa on Friday. Oak Ridge enters the week with a 5-3 league record and a 10-6 mark overall. “After the tournament, I gave the guys the rest of the week off,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. “At the same time, though, I told them they needed to be ready for next week.” Save for a disappointing 8-2 loss to Del Campo, the Trojans played well in the tournament, winning games against Mesa Verde and Del Campo. The team’s final game against Roseville, scheduled for Wednesday, was cancelled because of rain and poor field conditions. “It was nice to get some guys some playing time, some reps,” Melton said. “I would have liked to get that fourth game in, but hopefully we’ll get another game to make up for that one.” The Trojans started play on Monday with a 14-2 win over Mesa Verde. Curtis Cantaloube scattered four hits and allowed two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but struck out 10 in the commanding win. Offensively, the Trojans pounded 13 hits and scored three runs in the first inning, seven in the third and four in the fourth to win the shortened five-inning game. “Curtis came in late from the basketball season and then he was injured,” Melton said. “It was good to get him out there. He’s got the potential to be really good.” Jake Schu, Tyler Schmidt, Jeff McKenzie and John Gallagher each had two hits, while Willie Tucker drove in three runs and Colby Wilmer knocked in a pair. McKenzie tripled and had two RBI, while Schmidt also doubled. On Monday afternoon, the Trojans couldn’t keep the momentum, as they lost to Del Campo, 8-2. Defensively, the Trojans fell apart, committing six errors, as the Cougars romped to the easy win. Max Everingham was the tough-luck loser, as he gave up five runs in the third inning. Drew Reischl provided one of the few highlights for the Trojans with a home run. Schu added a pair of hits, including a double, while Kevin Stockam also doubled. “Even though it was our second game of the tournament, it seemed like the guys were already on spring break,” Melton said. “We weren’t ready to play.” The Trojan offense was back at it on Tuesday, scoring runs in every inning in an 11-1 romp over Woodcreek. McKenzie again led the way offensively with three hits, a double and two RBI, while Robbie Brown also had three hits and two RBI. Stephen Barisone and Tucker also had two hits, while John Gallagher doubled and drove in two runs. Reischl also doubled in the win. Kyle Porter went the distance, allowing four hits, while striking out 11 against only a pair of walks. Porter also helped himself at the plate with a triple. “We beat a hot Woodcreek team, as Porter flirted with a no hitter there for awhile,” Melton said. “We made a nice comeback from the previous game.” Now back in league play, Melton is happy with how things have gone to this point. “Everyone is still in control of their own destiny,” Melton said. “Right now we’re only worried about ourselves. We’ve got three big games this week.”