In a dramatic turnaround from opening day, the Jesuit Crusaders cleaned up their act on the mound and in the field to earn a shutout win in their home opener.
A trio of freshman pitchers limited Lakeridge to three hits and the Crusaders committed just one error in a 3-0 win over the Pacers Thursday at Sprunk Stadium. The game came two days after Jesuit pitchers walked 14 batters and the Crusaders committed five errors and had no hits in a 15-1 drubbing at the hands of West Linn. the Pacers were playing their first game of the season.
Six-foot-four righthander McLean Abel, a highly-touted freshman prospect, made his high school debut with four innings of three-hit ball to earn the win. Abel, already being chased by some of the nation’s top baseball programs, fanned seven Lakeridge batters, including the final four he faced. He worked out of jams in the first and second innings, fanning Hayden Moore with runners on first and second in the first and punching out Cal Seneker with the bases loaded to close the second. Abel finished each of his four innings with a whiff and appeared very poised, locating his plus fastball down in the zone and getting hitters to chase his slider. Abel retired the final seven batters in a row with five strikeouts.
After being held hitless for the first nine innings of the season, the Crusaders finally broke through in the third inning, when Will Spitznagel singled off Lakeridge starting pitcher Everest Webster. Leadoff batter John Arndorfer followed with a deep shot to center field for an RBI double.
The Crusaders tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Arndorfer drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Kyle Knell’s hot shot infield single off the glove of shortstop Hayden Moore. After Ian Cooney beat out a slow roller to short for another infield hit and a wild pitch moved the runners up, Knell scampered home on Ethan Wilson’s sacrifice fly to center.
Wilson was the second of three talented freshman pitchers that Jesuit showcased on Thursday. Only one, Abel, is currently an official member of the varsity roster. That could change. Wilson flashed a nasty 12-to-6 curve and struck out the side in his first inning of varsity work, setting down the top three in Lakeridge’s batting order after his first pitch of the fifth inning plunked Harrison Brown. Wilson hit two batters in his two innings, but struck out four and did not surrender a hit.
James Porter made his second appearance in as many games, pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning to notch his first high school save.
Jesuit outhit Lakeridge 5-3. Junior catcher Jacob Bates reached base three times on a pair of walks and a hit batsman. No player for either team had more than one hit and Arndorfer’s double was the only extra-base hit of the game.
The Crusaders are off until Wednesday when they travel to Clackamas. Lakeridge has a makeup game against Beaverton scheduled at Abrahamson Field on Friday.