Baseball Throttles De La Salle, 10-6 on a Chilly Night on the Southside 


M. Krein

The Ramblers connect against Mount Carmel. Unlike the De La Salle game, the offense couldn’t overpower their opponent.

Patrick Hayden, Writer

After a fast start, the 3-0 baseball team had four games canceled this week due to the inclement weather. Still, the team looked fresh and excited to get back out on the diamond. However, Loyola had a challenging task against the 5-3 De La Salle team.
The meteors are led by their ace, Ortiz. He previously threw 7 strikeouts against Brother Rice, who is a nationally ranked team. The Loyola game plan was centered around getting hits off him.
Loyola assistant coach Sean Batti said, “Offensively, we have to stand up and look to barrel up baseballs. and have quality at-bats.”
That worked out perfectly for the Ramblers. They got the bats going offensively very quickly despite missing a critical piece to the lineup. Haden Kristen, an exceptional third baseman and a powerful hitter, is currently rehabbing a stress fracture in his back. Last year he led the team in home runs and had the highest batting average. Without him in the lineup, the Ramblers lack a dominant hitter who could go yard at possibly every at-bat.
Even with the injury, his talent has not gone unnoticed. Haden has garnered many Big 10 and Big East offers; he currently has 27 offers and is uncommitted.
Senior outfielder Danny Shortal said, “Losing Hayden was big for us as one of our senior captains and starting 3rd baseman the previous year. Losing him was a big adjustment. It meant a lot of guys needed to step up and be willing to learn multiple positions.”
With the loss of Haden Kristen in the lineup, Loyola put a new starter into the lineup, Michal Clarkson, a junior third baseman. Michael, a top 500 player in the junior class, had everything going his way him from the plate. Michael went 2 for 3 from the plate and accounted for two doubles and an RBI.
Everything was so easy for the Ramblers. On the other hand, it was challenging for the Meteors to get going offensively. Roger Simon, who was on the mound for Loyola, was dealing. Simon had six strikeouts through 5 innings played.
Patrick Loftus, a junior pitcher, said, “Rodger really attacked the zone. He was hitting the corners, and the off-speed pitches were extremely effective as well. He continuously kept his composure on the mound throughout the game, which led to the great outing.”
The Ramblers looked dominant from the start. At the bottom of the first inning, Simon led the charge on both sides of the ball. He started with a leadoff single at the plate and a strikeout on the mound. The next inning was a 1-2-3 for the Ramblers. In the top of the third inning, De la Salle committed two errors that were crucial for the Meteors.
Coach Batti said, “It gave us extra base runners. The hitters gave the base runners an opportunity to get them in.”
Roger Simon had an RBI single making it 1-0, and senior Catcher Max Olivera brought in two more with an RBI double, making the score 3-0 Loyola. De la Salle started with a leadoff double at the bottom of the third. Second baseman Mike Regan had an error that led to an RBI for the meteors making it 3-1.
In the top of the fourth, the standout freshman on the Loyola squad, Gael Urbieta, hit a one run homer extending the lead to 4-1 for the Ramblers. The bottom of the fourth was a quick inning. Roger was dealing left and right, tallying three strikeouts in the inning.
In the top of the 5th, Loyola had a strong hitting performance, with Connor Lasch starting the inning with a leadoff double. Then Will Clarkson brought in Lasch with an RBI double, extending the lead to 5-1. Loyola could not be stopped at the plate as Urbietta brought in Clarkson with an RBI double. The Rambler’s bats proved unstoppable that inning, with Loyola up 6-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the game slowly started to change for the Ramblers. Roger Simon was done after five innings pitched. Loyola put in senior pitcher Paddy Clifford. There was a lot of momentum for De La Salle; an error committed by Mike Reagan put a runner on base for the meteors. A pop-up in the air for De la Salle made a runner tag the base and go home, making the score 6-2. Followed by that, the Meteors hit back to back home runs making it 6-5 Loyola.
De La Salle was slowly inching towards the lead. Paddy Clifford finished with one strikeout. However, with Clifford letting up five runs, the coaches were still confident in his ability.
Coach Batti said, “We still have all the confidence in him. He’s still going to be one of our top pitchers. I told him everybody has bad outings, and the other team is trying to be successful. They are a Catholic league opponent who has good hitters.”
The quick comeback for De La Salle didn’t faze the Ramblers. In the top of the sixth inning, junior first baseman Connor Lasch hit a two-run home run. It was a super successful inning for Loyola. They scored four runs making it 10-5 Ramblers.
In the bottom of the sixth, Loyola made a pitching change to senior Jonathan Tomasello for Paddy Clifford. Jonathan had one strikeout, and De La Salle continued to ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Ramblers didn’t get much going. Every hit was either a groundout to first or a pop-up. In the bottom of the seventh, Meteors showed some sign of life by hitting a leadoff single. Following that, one of their hitters had an RBI double, bringing in one of their runners, making it 10-6, but that wasn’t enough for De La Salle.
Jonathan Tomasello was excellent; after that, he struck out two more. Jonathan got the save and finished the game with three strikeouts. Tomasello said, “The key to my success was filling up the zone with strikes and not giving the hitters anything too good to hit.”
The Ramblers won10-6. Fans can catch the next game on Tuesday, 4-12, against Providence Catholic at 4:30 PM