On a cold and windy Wednesday, the Jordan baseball team traveled to East Chapel Hill and defeated the Wildcats 6-1 to remain unbeaten.
East Chapel Hill starting pitcher C.J. Di Benedetto got off to a rough start on the mound, walking the first two batters and then hitting third batter Ben Miller with a pitch.
With the bases loaded, Di Benedetto’s pitch got by catcher Bryce Jeske, allowing Nick Fajardo to score the first run of the game. Chris Shepard drove in a subsequent run to make it 2-0 with only one out.
Di Benedetto managed to pitch out of the inning without anymore damage done, but couldn’t find his control in the second. He hit lead off hitter Greg Laxton, who immediately stole second, and was then driven in by Wil Hoyle on a RBI double. Miller wasted little time bring Hoyle home, plating him with a RBI double of his own.
Despite the swirling wind, Wildcats head coach Matt Russell didn’t make excuses for his starters lack of control on the mound saying: “It wasn’t great conditions, but they are playing under the same conditions, so you can’t use that as an excuse. You have to play with the weather we have.”
East Chapel Hill pitchers issued ten walks in the game, which was their ultimate undoing. Jordan managed only five hits, and left ten runners on base, but they turned walks into doubles with their speed on the base paths, stealing eight bags and scoring on two wild pitches.
Jordan assistant coach Matt Monistero, acting as interim head coach while Aaron Brown was welcoming a baby girl to the world, praised his team for their patience at the plate and knew that their speed would be a game changer.
“Our speed is one of our strongest suits as a team,” said Monistero. “It turns into hits because pitchers are worried about that speed. They did a good job of staying patient today despite the wind doing crazy things and being cold.”
Fajardo in particular was a nightmare on base for the Wildcats pitchers, stealing four bases and scoring twice despite not collecting a hit.
East Chapel Hill’s only run came in the second inning off a double steal executed by Brad Rice and Will Schmidt.
Jordan starting pitcher Connor Garcia was able to battle through the wind, striking out four batters and only giving up three singles.
“He came out and executed the game plan,” said Monistero. “He located pitches for strikes and made it hard to make good contact. And then our defense didn’t make any routine errors.”