Behind a complete-game performance on the mound from Chris Muse-Fisher, timely hitting and Folsom’s knack for self-destructing, the Oak Ridge baseball team is sitting in second place in the Delta River League standings after Tuesday’s 8-2 victory.
Oak Ridge is 6-2 and Jesuit, which defeated Pleasant Grove Tuesday, leads the DRL with a 7-1 record. The Eagles are in third at 5-3. After a slow start to the league season as the Trojans adapted to Division I competition, Oak Ridge started coming on strong and after pounding Folsom 21-8 in the teams’ first meeting, have now moved into contention for the DRL title.
“We’ve had good growth since the beginning of the year,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said. “What I’ve seen in Division I is it’s faster and every team has at least one good pitcher.
“Today was good for us. I’ve seen teams come back after spring break and struggle to get going again but we had a good practice yesterday and today, we executed and set things up for the big hit. Chris (Muse-Fisher) was dominant out there and gave us what we hoped for.”
Muse-Fisher held Folsom hitless through the first three innings before Dan Wamhoff broke up the no-hitter with a double to left. Jake Brandt sacrificed him to third and Cody Isham drove him in for the Bulldogs’ first run of the game.
A short-to-second-to-first double play turned by Austin Ales, Mason Watkins and Zach Mahon ended the threat and Muse-Fisher then cruised through the next two innings before struggling a little in the seventh.
“My pitch count was only 60 and I was up 8-1 — I just lost my focus for awhile,” Muse-Fisher said about the last inning. “I threw a few off-speed pitches at first and then I just tried to hit my spots with the fast ball. That kept me in it. It was absolutely good when I had the two-run lead, and I loved being up by eight runs.”
Oak Ridge jumped on Folsom starter Joe Gray in the bottom of the first to give Muse-Fisher a cushion. Cole Hansen led off with a single to left-center, Watkins sacrificed him up and Hansen touched home on Mahon’s base hit. Saxon Elkins followed with a single to right that was mis-played, allowing Mahon to race home before Folsom got out of the inning.
After Folsom scored to make it a 2-1 game in the top of the fourth, the Trojans answered right back as Ales reached on a dropped ball in the outfield and was driven in by Drew Reischl’s two-bagger.
Things got ugly for the Bulldogs in the fifth. Hansen walked to start things off and one-out later, Mahon was hit by a pitch, Elkins ripped the first pitch he saw to left and Lance Berrenger hit a ground ball to second.
Folsom’s throw home was late allowing Mahon to score and on the next ball hit back to the mound, the Bulldogs again failed to get the runner at the plate. With three runs in and two on base, Reischl wrapped up his 3-for-3 day with a two-RBI rope into left field.
Folsom scored again in the seventh on an error, Isham’s ground-rule double and Ryan Fernandez’ sacrifice fly but Muse-Fisher settled down and fanned two to end the game.
Muse-Fisher gave up just three hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out nine over seven innings of work.
The Trojans complete the season series with the Bulldogs Thursday at Folsom.