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Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

Trojan Austin Root pitches during the April 21 game at Oak Ridge. Photo by Ernest Valenzuela III
Trojan Austin Root pitches during the April 21 game at Oak Ridge. Photo by Ernest Valenzuela III

Meinhofer 2-run single

Austin Root went the distance on the mound for the Oak Ridge High baseball team on April 21,  to a 4-1 win over Folsom.

The senior struck out five Bulldog batters, including three in the last two innings of the Delta River League game. Root, who has an earned run average of 0.71, improved his record to 4-1. His control of his fastball baffled visiting Folsom for most of the game.

“The fastball was all over the place,” Root said. “I just have to get it where I want it. As the game went on, it got a little bit better. I was just leaving it up in situations where I can’t leave it up.”

Trojan head coach Todd Melton added, “He’s kind of a perfectionist. He wants to bring his ‘A’ game all the time.”

Root was happy that his defense came through in the game. Trojan outfielders Jon Seim, Chris Roppolo and Brogan Cooper caught balls that were hit deep into the outfield, including three of the six on the run.

“It’s nice to have a solid defense where you know they are going to make the plays,” Root said. “As a pitcher, you have to have good defense.”

Oak Ridge (6-1, 10-7) did most of its damage at the plate in the bottom of the second inning. After Folsom scored its lone run in the top of the frame for a short-lived 1-0 lead, the Trojans’ Logan Denholm started the frame with a walk. After moving to second on a stolen base, Denholm moved to third on Kyle Barisone’s infield single.

Then Erik McNeill drove in Denholm on a sacrifice fly to right field. Now tied at 1-all, the Trojans picked up another infield hit off the bat of Jon Seim that moved Barisone to third base.

“I thought we did a pretty good job,” Melton said. “I think in high school ball, if you get that off-speed over (the plate), it can be real effective. I think we did a real good job (making contact).”

The next three Trojan batters reached base: Cooper walked and Mickey Meinhofer and Tyson Solis had back-to-back singles. Meinhofer’s hit to centerfield drove in Seim and Cooper for a 3-1 lead.

“That was huge,” said Root of the runs.

The Trojans scored their final run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Solis reached base on a Bulldog error, then flew around the base paths to third base on a passed ball. Tanner Ales doubled to left field to drive in Solis.

Oak Ridge finished with seven hits in the game, with Seim going 2-for-3.

Short URL: http://www.villagelife.com/?p=39623

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Posted by on Apr 22 2014.
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