Alex Fitchett and Lance Berringer combined to hit for the cycle and drive in seven runs Monday as host Oak Ridge romped past Ponderosa 15-1 in a Delta River League mercy-rule shortened four and a half inning baseball game, the first of a season-ending three-game series between the intra-county rivals.
The Trojans had seven extra-base hits — several the Bruins could have caught. Fitchett led the way with a triple and two doubles for four RBIs, Alec de Watteville tripled and doubled and Berringer (three RBIs) blasted a home run.
“We’ve got some guys really swinging the bats well right now and our two-out hitting has been good and we’re cashing in,” said Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton whose team will end up third in league and go to the playoffs. “We’re trying to build momentum. People have forgotten about us but I like where we are.”
Aided by a misplay and an error, the Trojans put five runs up in the bottom of the first inning. Berringer, who threw out Matthew McBride at the plate in the top half after Matt Poulin had singled, gave Oak Ridge the lead with a two-out RBI single, Cody Uharriet singled in a run and the big blow was Fitchett’s two-run double.
The hosts added three unearned runs in the second on Cody Morris’ RBI single and Mason Watkins’ two-run triple. Despite the score, Ponderosa starter Reed Omohundro deserved a better fate on a half-dozen plays his defense failed to make.
“We didn’t handle the defense for Reed and I feel bad for him,” Bruin coach Dave White said. “When the defense lets you down you put more pressure on yourself subconsciously. Bottom line is that they moved the lineup and we didn’t.”
Fitchett’s double that fell in and a Bruin throwing error preceded de Watteville’s two-run triple in the third. Berringer capped off the inning with a drive over the right field fence to drive in de Watteville.
“We swung the bats today, were aggressive and put pressure on them,” said Berringer who’s headed to the University of Nevada, Reno. “We had a lot of good hitter counts. My approach (on the home run) was to look for a fastball, something I could drive.”
Fitchett, a Sacramento State recruit, drilled a two-run triple and an RBI single by FP Santangelo pushed Troy’s advantage to 15-0 in the fourth, more than enough for starter Jared Ross who went four innings before handing the ball to Alex FaGalde.
The Bruins scored their lone run in the fifth. Austin Turgeon led off with a single, was balked to second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out throwing error on a ball Jeff Martin hit.