The St. James baseball team opened their season at Pacific on Tuesday, Mar. 19. The Tigers were able to get their offense going with 10 hits, but couldn't quite push runs across in a 3-1 loss to start the year.
St. James got behind early when Pacific was able to tag starter Drew Moritz for a pair of runs in the third. He would finish the third, before being relieved to start the fourth. Moritz finished his day allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out three. Trey Riley came in and allowed a run in the fourth, but settled in for two shutout innings after that. He also pitched three innings, allowing one run on one hit and three walks, striking out two in the process.
The Tiger offense, meanwhile, couldn't quite get a run across. They finally broke through in the sixth when Andrew Branson walked with the bases loaded in the sixth, but that would be the only run to cross the plate. Despite the lack of runs, the St. James bats were hot in the game. As a team, St. James collected 10 hits, while walking another six times. Riley collected three hits in the game, while Branson and Lyndon Carson each had two. Logan Saxbury scored the lone run of the game for St. James.
"We were just excited to get on the field," said head coach Shannon Snitker on the 3-1 loss. "That was the first time we'd seen pitching from 60 feet. Defensively, we played as well as we could. I don't think we allowed an error. That is great, considering we have been on dirt once in the 17 practices before the game."
Coach Snitker is liking what he's seeing out of his group so far, he just wants to see someone step up and get the big hits needed to drive in runs.
"A couple of unfortunate base running mistakes and not getting the timely hit cost us," said the St. James head coach. "We left 12 runners on and had 10 base hits. The stats add up to a win in 95 percent of high school baseball games. If that game is any indication as to how my team will battle for seven innings, I am really excited about that.
"I think we may have been pressing a little," continued coach Snitker. "We have several guys who are being put in situations at the varsity level for the first time. Once they figure out they belong, I truly believe we will be fine."
St. James followed the loss with a matchup against Vienna on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time. Next up is a home game with Newburg on Tuesday, Mar. 26.