What a difference a few weeks make.
Jesuit defeated St. Augustine 2-0 at John Ryan Stadium on Friday at John Ryan Stadium.
In the teams’ first meeting, the Blue Jays posted a 16-0 victory, routing its District 9-5A opponent thanks to two late-inning scoring binges and seven hits at Wesley Barrow Stadium.
On Friday, Blue Jays pitcher Sean Bretz blanked St. Aug (6-11, 0-4), and the Blue Jays (19-7, 4-2) capitalized on an error to score both runs.
“It’s not what we expected offensively,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino said. “We demand more of ourselves, but you have to credit their pitcher (Cornell Carter). He changed speeds. He kept them off balance the entire day, and thank goodness (Bretz) had the type of day he had on the mound.”
The Blue Jays right-hander hurled a complete-game, three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, mirroring teammate Myles Blunt, who struck out nine and surrendered five hits in the first game between the two.
“Sean’s got really good stuff. It’s never been a question of his pitches,” Latino said.
“It’s been a question of him maturing a little bit. He’s had a few shaky starts, but he stuck to the game plan. We said we were going to be predominately fastballs, just locating it, moving it in and out, and using his breaking ball to keep them honest. That’s exactly what he did.”
Unlike the last outing, Jesuit provided little support at the plate. The Blue Jays registered five hits — none of which drove in base runners. Jesuit’s two runs came in the bottom of the first inning after a throwing error to first base on what would have been a routine grounder.
Instead, the baseball sailed wide of St. Aug’s first baseman, allowing Brandon Briuglio and Scott Crabtree to score. From there, neither team figured it out at the plate.
“One play and we’re still playing. We’re going into the eighth inning right now,” St. Augustine coach Ryan Sims said.
“I’m proud of our guys and Cornell. He’s had some rough outings, and we haven’t provided the support that we wanted, but (Friday) he put it all together. He commanded his off-speed really well and kept them off balance. Throwing 62 pitches in six innings isn’t bad at all.”
Carter capped a complete-game effort with three strikeouts while surrendering five hits and no earned runs.
“Our kids have shown that they’ll respond when faced with adversity. That’s what we talk about. We’ve had some tough times overall, but life isn’t about how you win a baseball game,” Sims said.
“It’s about responding to adversity because there will always be some things. A break here, a break there, maybe we win the ballgame. That’s just how it goes sometimes. It’s not a moral victory for us (Friday). It just shows that this young team is making progress, and we’re starting to turn the corner.”