Pine falls to Pope John Paul II

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pine suffered a 7-3 loss to Pope John Paul II Saturday afternoon in a district game at PJP.

Pine (7-12, 1-6 at press time) had one rough inning, which proved to be the difference in the game.

With the contest tied 1-1 after three, the Jaguars (4-15, 2-5) put up four runs in the fourth on just one hit while waiting out five walks and one hit batsman.

With one out, Steven Schmitt, Clayton Riviere and Beaux Riviere walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Christian Grady coaxed an RBI walk to give the Jaguars the lead 2-1.

Following a pitching change Taylor Thies was hit, which drove in another run for a 3-1 advantage. Justin Gandy also produced an RBI walk, then Charlie Loupe’s second single this game made it 5-1.

That was plenty for Grady, who worked his way through 5.2 innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts, six walks and two hit batters.

“I came out there, trying to throw strikes,” Grady said. “I struggled a couple times, walked a few times, but my defense made plays when we needed to, and we came through with the win.”

Pine’s pitching staff combined to walk 12 hitters and hit another.

“Our pitching’s got to do a little better job,” Pine coach Blake Dillon said. “We had way too many walks in this game to win. I felt like offensively we had enough people on base all game; we just couldn’t figure out how to score them. But pitching’s got to do a better job.”

Pine’s defense played well, committing just two errors, which led to one unearned run.

“I thought the defense played good,” Dillon said. “That’s what I try to tell the kids, throw strikes and make them hit the ball. Our defense can make the plays behind them. If we don’t throw strikes, we don’t have a chance to get them out. That’s something that’s really hurting us right now. Pitching’s gotta throw more strikes.”

The Raiders had opportunities early on but could only put up one run in the first three frames.

Pine left four runners on through the first two innings and 11 for the game with one player thrown out at the plate in the opening inning. Through two innings Pine had six base runners and no runs. Pine had hits by Evan Vasalech and Trey Cooper, while Conner Ard, Kaleb Voth and Seth Brown drew walks and Jordan Phelps was hit.

The Raiders went up 1-0 in the third when Cooper singled before stealing second-and-third and then tallied on Nick Adcox’s RBI bloop single over the shortstop.

PJP evened things 1-1 in the bottom half. Blayne Haro singled before swiping second and advancing to third on an errant throw. He scored on Thies’ RBI groundout to second.

Following the PJP’s four-run fourth, the Jags added two more in the sixth. Schmitt and Clayton Riviere both walked. Beaux Riviere was hit. Haro produced a sacrifice fly and Clayton Riviere stole home during Thies’ at bat and it was 7-1.

Pine battled back with a two-out sixth-inning rally. Devin Phillips reached on an error, Hunter Cooper singled to center and Phelps was hit. After a pitching change, Vasalech reached on an infield single to second to make it 7-2, but an errant throw allowed another run to score and trimmed it to 7-3 but could get no closer.