OIBA BASEBALL: JESUIT 17, Prime Lending Buffs 2

The Jesuit Crusaders parlayed a 15-run inning into their third victory of the summer over the Lakeridge OIBA squad.

The Crusaders batted around twice and broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning to end their Olin Division showdown with a mercy-rule 17-2 victory over Lakeridge’s Prime Lending Buffs.

Early this season, Jesuit defeated Lakeridge 6-4 in nine innings at the Lake Oswego Tournament in June. A week later the teams met at Lakeridge’s Abramson Field with the Crusaders winning 7-2.

The Pacers jumped on Jesuit starting pitcher Trey Werner for two runs on three hits in the first inning and still held a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the third. The Crusaders, featuring a wealth of team speed, utilized that asset to jump-start their comeback, leading off both the third and fourth innings with bunt singles.

Dorsey Willhoite’s bunt base hit preceded a Will Spitznagel walk in the third inning. With one out, Ennis Ferguson plated Willhoite with a base hit to left and Spitznagel reaced home on a Joe Angeli ground out to third base to even the score.

In the fourth inning, Kevin Blair led off with a bunt single. Mick Abel followed with a four-pitch walk bringing number nine hitter Kellen McCarthy to the plate. McCarthy bunted back toward the mound, but Lakeridge pitcher Spencer Gore threw high to first, with Blair coming around to score. Abel took a wide turn around third then tried to retreat back to the back as the throw toward third base sailed out of play, allowing both Abel and McCarthy to score for a 5-2 Jesuit lead.

That was just the beginning. Willhoite fired up another rally with a bunt single, Will Spitznagel followed with an RBI double and a parade of misfortune continued for the Pacers as nine consecutive Jesuit batters reached base before an out was recorded at the plate. Two bases loaded walks followed before Willhoite came back to the plate and drove in two more runs with a double. Pinch-hit doubles by Skyler Loverink and Josh Daul were yet to come as the Crusaders collected eight hits off three Lakeridge pitchers, taking advantage of three errors, four walks and two hit batters.

Werner lasted just an inning on the mound as rising sophomore Ethan Wilson came on to pitch three scoreless innings with two strikeouts and a walk to earn the win. Wilson and fellow soph James Porter faced the minimum number of batters through the final four innings. Lakeridge got two baserunners on a walk and a hit off Wilson, but both were caught stealing by Jesuit catcher Angeli.

Lakeridge returns to action at Hillsboro with another Olin Division matchup Friday. Jesuit has the day off before closing out the regular season with a showdown against Southridge’s Dr. Barney. Both teams are tied for first in the division with 10-2 records.