Six days ago, Jesuit’s baseball team was No. 1 in the nation. Saturday, the Tigers lost to a tough Seminole team, had a lead washed away by a rainout against Sarasota, then lost 3-0 Thursday to nationally ranked Venice (No. 9 according to Maxpreps.com). That is hardly reason for Jesuit (22-2) to panic, but the two losses to end the regular season aren’t going to bolster the team’s confidence.
“We have to find a way to execute a little bit better in these close games, whatever that may be,” Jesuit coach Richie Warren said. “We’ll use this as a teaching moment, and hopefully in the next close game we find a way to pull it out.”
Both teams’ offenses took some time to get going in the game, as the Indians weren’t able to find holes, but they also were being shut down by Tigers ace Spencer Trayner. Likewise, Jesuit’s offense seemed stymied by Venice starter Tyson Alberts’ off-speed, early attack, only recording a single hit off the Indians starter — a double from Adrian Chacon in the second.
The Indians finally got to Trayner (6-1) in the sixth, as Colton Lightner doubled in the deciding run, and they added two runs in the seventh on RBI hits from Nick Longhi and Tyler Atwell.
The few bright spots in the Tigers’ night came in the final inning as Jesuit threatened, with runners reaching second and third on a Vincent Miniet single, then another Chacon double with one out.
The threat was eliminated on a base-running mistake that led to a game-ending double play.
“The fact that we didn’t give up,” Warren said, “the fact we continued in that last inning, is something we can use moving forward.”