Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Eagles Varsity Baseball team was looking forward to kicking off this season with 2nd year Head Coach David Colangelo. In the coaches first season on the top step for the “good guys”, the young team finished with an overall mark of 10-11 and 6-6 in the Commonwealth District.
2018 was a year of culture change as the Forge program fell on hard times the previous season. A program whose motto in their hay day was “Building a Tradition” needed a face-lift, but there were too many young faces in the dugout for an immediate turnaround. Coming into year two of his tenure Colangelo was well versed on what Forge Baseball used to be….and it is now his job to put his stamp on this program, and get his players back on top of the Commonwealth District and the 6B Region. After Monday night’s home opener, it is going to take a little while longer unless this group gets more aggressive at the plate. .
The Eagles were shut down on opening night by former Eagle standout Jack Ferrick and his Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets 5-0. The Jackets shut down a Forge offense that is not what it once was, but has the personnel to be much more potent and aggressive then they were on this night. In the early going, it just seems that when the Eagles have a threat going, they aren’t able to produce the hit to cash in on that threat.
The Forge gave the ball to Senior Matt Hickey for the opener and he was shaky early giving up four runs (3 earned) on just three hits, walking a couple while striking out four in three innings of work. Cameron Mozingo-Morales opposed Hickey as he threw four complete surrendering just one unearned run on a single hit walking two and striking out two.
The visitors got on the board early as their leadoff man Shane Saunders drew a walk and reached second on a Hickey wild pitch. After Liam Gannon struck out swinging and A.J. Shepard flied out to center, the Jackets clean up man Jack Braley plated Saunders to give OP an early 1-0 lead. The Eagles got a two out line drive double from Jake Wortman, but Mozingo-Morales struck out Keegan Doyle looking to end the threat.
In the visiting third, the Jackets knocked Hickey around some more when with one out Saunders singled to left and advanced to second on a base on balls to Gannon. Shepard was next and he rang a double in the right centerfield gap that scored Saunders and placed Gannon at third base, where he would score on an error. When Shepard came home on a Hickey wild pitch, the Jackets had a quick 3-0 and the Eagle ship was leaking until Mario Duarte flew out to Tierney in center to end the threat.
The Eagle offense was kept off balance by Mozingo-Morales in the middle innings and it was hard to watch as the home team had feeble swings at his offerings and just could not get anybody to jump-start the offense. Even when the Forge would get a couple of men on base and in scoring position, there was nobody there to get the big hit to get them back into the game.
Sophomore Ben Rorhbach took the hill for the Eagles in the fourth trailing 4-0. The young sidewinder got two quick ground ball outs. Luke Poteet singled to center but then Jed Barrett was hit by a Rorhbach offering putting two runners on. The visitors were back to the top of their order and Saunders did his job singling to left to score Poteet to give Osbourn Park a 5-0 lead as we headed to the home half of the fourth.
In the Forge fourth, Wortman was hit by a pitch and with the heart of their order coming up, they could not match the actions of their counterparts in the other dugout as Doyle flew out to left, Tierney flew out to right. Mozingo-Morales was enjoying his dominance and got a little cocky with A.J. Zeak at the dish. He tried to pick Wortman off first on a throw that Poteet couldn’t corral and Wortman scampered to third. Zeak however grounded out to third to end the threat and the inning with the Eagles still trailing 5-0.
Senior pitcher Jordan Tauriac was handed the ball in the top of the fifth for the Eagles and if there was one highlight for the Forge on this night it was the way the right hander threw the baseball. Tauriac gave up just a single hit and struck out a half dozen Yellow Jackets in his outing. He had life on his fastball and threw a couple of fast balls that had some hair on them. When the Jackets were trying to tee off on the express, Tauriac would mix in some off speed deliveries that had a little wiggle on the end, and it kept Osbourn Park on their heels.
Tauriac did his best to keep his team within striking distance and the Eagles chose their final trip to the plate to make a little noise. Henderson led off the Forge last chance and he singled to right center. Seth Tootle sent a hard ground ball to Gannon at second base that beat up for an error and the Eagles had two on with nobody out. Preston Long hit a little dribbler out in front of the plate that Barrett jumped on making Long the innings first out, but Henderson and Tootle moved up to second and third. Once again the Forge had “ducks on the pond” but couldn’t get it done as Robert Moffett grounded into a 1-3-4 game ending double play.
An opener that was anticipated turns into an opener that had so many missed opportunites that left a huddled up crowd wanting more. The pitching that the Jackets threw at the Forge in the opener is not going to make anybody lose sleep. Nobody had to call the fire department because of the heat they were facing, the quicker this team gets more aggressive at the plate, the quicker this program can build its Own Tradition!