Every team hits a bump in the road during the season that threatens to derail an otherwise great year.
The Jaguars hit their rough patch in a recent two-game series with perennial power Cardinal Newman, falling to the Cardinals, 7-6 and 9-4.
On Monday, Windsor snapped the brief, two-game skid with a 9-3 non-league win over visiting American Canyon to push its overall record to 9-3 and 5-3 in the North Bay League (NBL).
The Jags will resume NBL play with a home and away series with Maria Carrillo, hosting the Pumas on May 12, followed by a trip to Carrillo on May 14. Both games start at 4 p.m.
The Jaguars opened the series with Newman in the friendly confines on May 5, spotting the Cardinals three doubles in the first inning for an early 3-0 lead. Windsor starter Matt Kemper kept his cool, weathering the storm to give his team a fighting chance. The Jags staged a four-run rally in the sixth inning to retake the lead at 6-5, but Newman answered with a pair in the seventh for the eventual, 7-6 win.
“I was really happy with way we fought back against a team like Newman,” Jags’ coach Dave Avila said. “It’s a tough way to lose one, but we grew as a team today.”
Kemper (6 IP, 5 hits, 4 ERs, 3 BBs, 6 Ks) pitched well in a no-decision, while reliever FJ Freenor (1 IP, 2 hits, 2 ERs, BB) took the loss. Top hitters for Windsor included Gary Hall (2 for 3, 2B, run, RBI), Jo Jo Soltanizadeh (2 for 3, RBI), Carson Ramocinski (2 for 4, 2B, run), Brett Neidlinger (1 for 4, 2B, run), Caden Towery (1 for 3, run), Josh Delatorre (1 for 3, RBI), Trent Matthews (1 for 4) and Antonio Rivera (1 for 3, RBI).
The Jaguars were not at their best in the rematch at Newman on May 7, with the pitching and defense turning in a rare, sub-par performance.
The Cardinals took full advantage, pushing across nine unanswered runs in the first three frames for a big, 9-0 cushion. The Jags clawed back with solo runs in the fourth and fifth, adding another pair in the seventh en route to a 9-4 Newman victory.
“For the first time this year our defense and pitching were not very sharp, and a mixture of six walks and five errors early in the ballgame set the tone for a long day of baseball,” Avila noted. “I did think we took some good at-bats and hit some balls right at guys, but getting down so early is tough to come back from, especially against a team like Newman.”
Starting pitcher Gary Hall (3 IP, 3 hits, 3 ERs, 6BBs, 4 Ks) took the loss Rivera (3 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 3BBs, K) closed it out in relief. Leading hitters were Ramocinski (3 for 3, run, RBI), Elijah Hackathorn (1 for 2), Kyle Stewart (1 for 3, RBI) and Sergio Gonzalez-Ceja (1 for 1, run).
Windsor was back in the win column in Monday’s home clash with American Canyon, getting a pair of strong pitching efforts from senior Connor Nielsen (4 IP, 4 hits, 2 ERs, BB, 3 Ks, WP) and sophomore Carson Dillon (3 IP, 2 hits, 4 Ks) in a 9-3 romp.
Swinging hot bats for Windsor were Ramocinski (3 for 5, 2B, HR, 3 runs, 5 RBIs), Soltanizadeh (3 for 4), Hackathorn (2 for 3, 2 runs), Hall (2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBIs), Damien Escarcega (1 for 3, 2 runs, RBI), Neidlinger (1 for 4, run), Delatorre (1 for 3, RBI and Stewart (1 for 2).