Trojans on wrong end of pitcher's duel, fall to Jesuit, 2-0

By: By Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Monday marked the opening of Delta River League action for the Oak Ridge Trojans’ baseball team. They had the task of beginning with a three-game series against one of the top teams in the Sacramento area in the Jesuit Marauders.

In Monday’s game, the Trojans rapped out a season-high 14 hits en route to a 7-2 victory before Wednesday’s 8-4 loss at Jesuit. Friday’s contest represented the rubber game of the series with the Trojans back at home and sophomore Ryan Sullivan on the hill.

Jesuit countered with a sophomore of its own in Chris Loeb, who came out on the winning end of a pitcher’s duel as Jesuit took the final game of the series by a score of 2-0.

Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton was impressed by both starters, who will undoubtedly create a nice rivalry over the next two and a half seasons.

“I though Sully was outstanding. It’s been two weeks since he last pitched. He’s a big time pitcher,” said Melton of his burly right-hander.  “Loeb pitched well too. I just feel like we helped him out by swinging at his pitches but that’s part of pitching, so there’s got to be something there.”

Loeb went six scoreless innings, only giving up three hits while striking out eight Trojan hitters. He gave the ball to Andre Gregory in the seventh to close the game out by getting Alec de Watteville to ground into a perfectly executed 3-6-3 double play.

“(Loeb) had all three of his pitches working today; fastball, changeup and curveball. When you have a guy in high school who can do that, he’s going to be a dangerous pitcher,” said Oak Ridge first baseman Ross Dwelley, who had one of the Trojans’ four total hits.

Jesuit scored a run in each of the first two innings. In the second, Loeb helped himself by driving in a run at the plate, scoring his battery mate Jordan Hanlin. Loeb seemed to do everything for the Marauders as he even stole a base before the inning ended.

Sullivan also went six innings while allowing only five hits, one walk and one earned run for the Trojans. He had been nursing elbow inflammation over the last couple weeks, according to Melton.

Oak Ridge’s best chance to rattle the lefty came in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs for Tanner Ales. Loeb did his job, however, and got Ales to fly out to center to prevent a Trojan rally.

“We wanted to think opposite gap against a lefty. We had some good moments with guys in scoring position but just aren’t quite getting the big hits,” said Melton.

Oak Ridge (1-2 DRL, 7-7) will continue Delta River League play on Monday sandwiching home games around another three-game set against Pleasant Grove.