Suffer at hands of Surface Creek
It hasn’t been easy for local Babe Ruth baseball team the Blue Jackets to find a winning combination, but they continue to improve in their quest to peak by playoff time.
The major component missing from the team is experience. With such a young squad and so many early games rescheduled, the team remains rough around the edges. Yet there are some flashes of talent and with the meat of the schedule about to hit them, the team should make massive strides in the coming weeks.
The Blue Jackets hosted league powerhouse Surface Creek on Monday, June 9 at Tommy V Field. Yes, the Blue Jackets lost 12-2 and yes, they committed a host of errors in the field, but, as I mentioned before, there were some bright spots.
Jenner Currier started on the mound for the Blue Jackets and did just what any Babe Ruth pitcher should—throw strikes.
It just so happened, Surface Creek has a number of quality hitters in their line-up and they connected for several quality base hits to score three runs in the top of the first inning.
Ben Reaman provided a brief offensive punch for the Blue Jackets in the bottom of the first with a single and a stolen base. Unfortunately, his efforts were left high and dry as the Surface Creek pitcher fanned the next Blue Jacket’s batter for the third out, leaving Reaman with nowhere to go.
Surface Creek connected for two more runs in the top of the second inning before the Blue Jackets pulled off a couple of heads-up plays.
Currier snagged a ground ball up the middle and tossed to Blue Jackets catcher Sam Evans for the tag. Currier then caught a Surface Creek runner looking to steal second base and picked him off for the third out, putting a quick end to what looked to be an explosive offensive inning for Surface Creek.
Currier led off for the Blue Jackets in the top of the second inning, crushing a double to deep left field and reached third on a passed ball.
Yet, the Blue Jackets bats fell silent once again, leaving the Blue Jackets scoreless. The next two hitters struck out and an apparent suicide squeeze went awry, catching Currier in no man’s land for the tag as he dove back to third base.
The Blue Jackets defense retired the first two batters in the top of the third inning but the third out proved elusive as Surface Creek connected for a series of base hits to score two more runs.
Blue Jackets second baseman Ian Kelly swallowed a short hop grounder and fired to first base for the final out to stop the bleeding with the Blue Jackets down 7-0.
The Blue Jackets scored their first run in the bottom of the third inning when David Bright reached second base on a fielder’s choice and passed ball. Troy Pike ripped a single through the infield and Bright scored to put the Blue Jackets on the board.
Reaman took the mound in the top of the fourth inning to face the Surface Creek onslaught. It was a dubious role for Reaman stepping in to pitch for just the second time ever against such a solid hitting team.
Still, Reaman held tough. After Surface Creek connected for two runs on three base hits, Reaman struck out the next two hitters and a Surface Creek runner was gunned down attempting to steal third to end the inning.
The Blue Jackets infield suffered a series of errors as Surface Creek tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to pull ahead 12-1 threatening to end the game early with the ten-run rule.
With their backs against the wall, the Blue Jackets hitters rallied in an effort to avoid the ruling. Kelly snapped a single to left and Ashlee Reimer fought off the Surface Creek pitcher for a walk to put two runners on.
Elias Friedman tapped a single to load the bases with one out and Evans walked, to score the Blue Jackets’ second run of the game.
Surface Creek turned the last two outs to maintain their ten-run lead ending the game after five innings.
The Blue Jackets’ next home game will be a double-header on Saturday, June 21 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Tommy V. Field.