Brandon Briuglio pitched for the first time in 17 days on Tuesday.
The Jesuit junior is usually planted at second base in the Blue Jays’ lineup.
“He is so valuable to us as a second baseman that I sometimes forget what he can bring us on the mound,” Jesuit coach Joey Latino said. “I’m not going to be forgetting anymore. The kid can just pound the strike zone.”
Briuglio went five innings, scattering five hits and striking out six to keep Shaw in check in Jesuit’s 7-2 road victory.
“The offense came out swinging and gave me some cushion early, and that gave me confidence to go out there and throw strikes,” said Briuglio (3-2).
“It makes me feel good that (Latino) has confidence in me, and he knows I can get the ‘W’ for the team and help the team win anyway I can.”
Jesuit improved to 18-7 and 3-2 in District 9-5A as the teams completed the first cycle through Catholic League play Tuesday.
“Three and two isn’t ideal, but you keep yourself in the neighborhood,” Latino said.
Briuglio got all the run support he needed in the third inning. He helped his cause in the inning with a double to left-center field that drove in Nick Ray. Ben Hess and Trent Forshag added back-to-back RBI singles in the inning to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 advantage.
Shaw (13-10, 1-4) closed the gap in the fourth when Kyle Flettrich drove in Jace Nini, who started the inning with a double. Nini went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and also took the loss on the mound. Nini (2-6) allowed six hits in six innings, with a pair of strikeouts and two walks.
“We have had trouble against him,” Latino said. “Jace has had our number the last couple of times.
“It was good to see our approach (Tuesday). We were very patient. I told the guys around the third (inning) if we kept that approach some opportunities would come and they did.”
Jesuit’s Hayden Fuentes came through with a two-run single in the fifth that extended the lead to 5-1.
“That was huge,” Latino said. “Sitting on a two-run lead with the hitters they have in this ballpark is dicey. You get the lead to four you get a little more cushion and are a little more comfortable.”
Briuglio was replaced by Logan Hornung in the sixth after allowing a double to Nini and a single to Zach Autin. Matt Keller’s RBI single made it 5-2, and the Eagles had a chance to do even more damage in the inning.
They loaded the bases with one out, but Hornung worked out of the jam with a strikeout.
“If we put it all together, we can turn this thing around no problem,” said Shaw coach Kirk Bullinger, whose team committed three errors.
“We are not learning from our mistakes, and we continue to do things that allow us to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Jesuit’s Scott Crabtree blasted a home run over the right field wall, his third of the season, in the seventh.
Crabtree, Briuglio, and Hess had two hits each for Jesuit.
“Offensively I thought we were very good against a good pitcher, and we need to build on that now,” Latino said. “That’s been our problem the last few weeks. We’ve been a little inconsistent, and now we are trying to find that consistency.”