The St. James baseball team faced off against Newburg on Tuesday, Mar. 26. The game was originally supposed to be played at St. James, but the field conditions shifted the game to Newburg with the Tigers remaining the home team. St. James only needed four innings to get a 15-0 victory.
Drew Moritz handled pitching duties for the Tigers and was untouchable on the mound. He pitched all four innings and didn't allow a hit along the way. He struck out six batters on the way to the victory.
Offensively, St. James came out swinging. Tristan Wofford got the start for Newburg and allowed seven runs in the game's opening inning. Wofford ran into his pitch count after striking out the first batter of the second inning and Jared Lott was brought into the pitch. Lott was able to slow down the St. James bats in the second, as they managed just one run on an RBI double by Tyler Teague.
St. James put the game away for good in the third, exploding for another six runs. The first two batters of the inning were walked and hit by pitches. Another walk by Moritz loaded the bases, before Andrew Branson was hit by a pitch to drive in a run. Two more runs came across to score on an error, before a two run single by Dyllan Gibson. Another run came across to score on an error which led to another Newburg pitching change, as Lott reached his pitch count. Trevor Radcliff closed out the game for Newburg, allowing one more run in the fourth to finish off the 15-0 mercy rule win for St. James.
Gibson led St. James with three RBI in the win, driving in those runs on two hits. Rustin Branum was three for three with three runs scored and two RBI. Branson was 2-3 with three runs scored, two RBI and a steal. Dylan Hopper was 1-1 with two walks, a run scored, two RBI and two steals. St. James had 12 hits and drew four walks in the win, striking out only once as a team.
"I just wanted to keep the guys going. I thought we played really well against Hermann in our last game on Saturday, so I just wanted to keep the same guys in the lineup, see if we could score some more runs two games in a row," said St. James head coach Shannon Snitker. "We did a really good job early in the game of getting bunts down when we needed to to move runners, put pressure on the defense and then obviously some kids stepped up and hit the ball hard in some situations as well."
Coach Snitker was just happy to get his kids on the field to play and get some work in. With the weather, the Tigers haven't had many practices on their field. Snitker was glad they were able to get the game in and his team had a chance to work on things and get better.
"Just to be able to see a baseball live out of somebody's hand from 60 feet and to be able to run the bases at 90 feet because the gym isn't big enough to let us do that kind of stuff," said the St. James head coach. "We can get a lot of swings in and through a lot of bullpens, but in pens the ball doesn't react like it does outside. I was glad to see Drew settle in, throw a lot of strikes and not walk anybody...you can try to emulate that stuff all you want inside, but it's not the same as outside in a real game situation."
Newburg has struggled to get their entire team together this season, as most of their small team also plays other sports. Head coach Jeff Atchison hopes the team can get a couple of practices together as a full unit to make some steps in the right direction.
"We need to get on the field and work with everyone together if we are to get better," said the Newburg head coach. "There's potential there, we just need to work with it."
St. James is off for the rest of the week before a busy start to April. They will open the week on Monday, April 1 by kicking off Four Rivers Conference play against Sullivan at home, before traveling to Salem on Tuesday. After a day off on Wednesday, Newburg will host Owensville on Thursday, Mar. 28, before a trip to Crocker on Friday.