Trojan baseball escapes late-game rally for win over rival Bruins

SHINGLE SPRINGS  — The Trojans withstood a seventh-inning rally to beat Ponderosa 6-4 in Tuesday’s Delta River League varsity baseball matchup. Oak Ridge starting pitcher Chris Muse-Fisher went the distance, striking out seven while allowing four runs on 10 hits.

Heading into the bottom of the seventh the Bruins were pegged with a five-run deficit, but rallied to cut the lead to just two largely in part to a pair of doubles by infielders Nick Perata and Jerrod Bravo. After a walk was issued to catcher Dylan Duhamel, Ponderosa had the winning run at the plate, despite trailing 6-1 just an inning ago.

After two meetings on the mound by the Trojan coaching staff, Muse-Fisher bared down and got a routine ground ball to end the Bruin comeback much to the relief of the anxious Trojan faithful.

“Chris has a lot of playoff experience and we are comfortable throwing him against anybody,” said Oak Ridge head coach Todd Melton of his senior pitcher.

No outs were easy for Ponderosa starting pitcher Dom Campodonico, who went four innings and gave up five runs on seven hits against an offense that had just put up 21 runs against Folsom the day before.

Oak Ridge outfielder Luke Eicher went 2-for-3 with an home run out of the ninth spot in the order and catcher Drew Reischi crushed a two-run homer out of the eight-spot.

“We’ve been juggling some lineups lately and this one seems to be working. We dropped down (in the order) a couple of seniors and they seem really relaxed,” Melton said of the production from the bottom half of the lineup.

First basemen Zach Mahon also chipped in with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, driving in two and stealing a base.

Ponderosa relief pitcher Troy Booher entered the game in the fifth and kept the game within reach for the struggling Bruin offense — logging three innings, giving up one run while facing only 10 batters. Offensively, despite having at least one baserunner in every inning, the Ponderosa bats were unable to take advantage of a number of opportunities.

Outfielder Tyler Evanoff  was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, infielder Hunter Gallant was also 3-for-4 with a stolen base and infielder Reed Omohundro reached base twice on a single in the second and a double in the fourth.

“We will win games this season to the best of our ability. Even if we are not logically as good as some other teams on paper, we’ll win games by doing things right,” said Ponderosa coach Dave White of his squad.

Now sitting at 1-2 in league, the Bruins will look to Thursday’s contest against Folsom to get back to .500, although its possible some Ponderosa fans have already circled the April 30 rematch against the Trojans for a shot at revenge.

Oak Ridge will host Jesuit Thursday hoping to improve to 3-1 in the league standings.

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