For the third time this season, Jesuit pitching shut out district rival Rummel. On Friday night, it was a 6-0 victory for the Jays in a Class 5A regional game at John Ryan Stadium.
The best-of-three series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m. A third game, if needed, will be played at 7:30. Both games are scheduled for Ryan.
Jesuit defeated Rummel 3-0 and 6-0 in District 9-5A play. The Jays (29-5), a No. 3 seed, were the district runner-up. Rummel, the No. 19 seed, finished in fourth place and is now 21-15.
Jesuit starter C.J. Avrard (8-1) worked out of two early jams, and the Jays scored four runs in the third inning to take control.
“This big man was tough in the clutch,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino said while patting his 6-foot-4 senior on the back. “We were in some rough spots, but I’ve got to give credit to him and our defense. We were able to get out of each one.”
Jesuit’s four-run inning had an opportunistic beginning. Blake Baker, a UNO signee, reached on a bad hop single to third. Alex Galy squared as if to bunt but was hit by a pitch.
Scott Crabtree singled to load the bases. Trent Forshag lofted a fly ball to center, and the Rummel center fielder’s throw to the plate bounced off the mound as Baker scored easily.
Two walks, including a bases-loaded walk to Stephen Sigle, and singles by Dan Edmund and Zimmer made it 5-0.
“The board says we had 10 hits, but I don’t care about how many,” Latino said. “We are more concerned about when they come. Tonight we had some timely hits.”
Jesuit had taken a 1-0 lead in the second. Spencer Miller lined a hard single to center, stole second with two outs and then scored on Nathan Miller’s line drive to right. The Jays also scored a single run in the fourth. Galy singled, stole second and scored on Crabtree’s single to left.
Avrard worked out of two early jams, using his off-speed pitches to keep the Raiders off balance.
“My off-speed pitches felt really good when I was warming up (before the game),” Avrard said. “I let Coach know about it. They were moving good, and I was able to go to the off-speed pitches when I needed to get out of a jam.”
In the third, Rummel’s Frank Carucci led off with a triple to center. Avrard struck out the next two batters and then enticed a ground ball to shortstop to work out of trouble.
In the fourth, the Raiders loaded the bases with two outs on two infield hits and Avrard’s first walk. Avrard went to a 2-0 on Carucci before battling back: He got a called third strike with a sharp 2-2 curveball.
Avrard threw 107 pitches before leaving the game after six innings. He struck out eight.
Christian Latino fanned two in his one inning.