High school baseball
The 2021 baseball season is shaping up as another one to remember for the Windsor Jaguars, as they continue what has been a remarkable start to the spring campaign.
The Jags claimed Montgomery as their latest victim, recording a clean sweep in a road and home series,13-10 and 2-1 (8 innings) to push their overall record to 8-1 and 5-1 on the North Bay League circuit.
The Jaguars will get another good litmus test this week when they face perennial power Cardinal Newman in a two-game series. Windsor will host the Cardinals this Wednesday, May 5 and visit Newman on Friday, May 7. First pitch for both games is 4 p.m.
“This week will be a good test as to where we’re at as a team, taking on our neighbors down the street, Cardinal Newman,” Jag’s head coach Dave Avila confirmed.
Jaguars take two
Windsor opened the latest stretch in an April 28 visit to Montgomery, always a tough venue for opposing teams. Not a problem, as senior Matt Kemper climbed the hill for the Jags in hot pursuit of his fourth season win.
The reliable right-hander went the first four frames, yielding just three hits, 3 BBs and two “earnies” while striking out a pair to earn the victory.
“Matt pitched well,” Avila noted. “When I pulled him I was looking to save his arm a bit — he was tight earlier in the week, so I didn’t want to push him.”
The Jaguars put on a hitting clinic, pounding out 13 hits for 13 runs in the ballgame for a comfortable lead. It would take some late-game defensive heroics by senior shortstop Carson Ramocinski to stop a furious Vikings’ six-run rally in the seventh, as Windsor hung on for a 13-10 win.
Swinging hot bats for Windsor were Ramocinski (2 for 3, 2 RBIs), Anthony Guzman (2 for 4, 3 runs) and Caden Towery (2 for 3, 2 RBIs).
The game marked the return of junior all-league third baseman Jo Jo Soltanizadeh from a broken wrist. The third-year standout jumped on the first pitch he saw for a two-run, bases-loaded double off the fence.
Friday’s rematch with the visiting Vikings was for pitching aficionados, as senior ace Gary Hall took the ball and allowed only three hits through four strong innings of work.
FJ Freenor came on in relief, firing the last four frames, yielding one hit and two walks and fanning four in a great effort.
The game was knotted at 1-1 in the eighth when a bases-loaded walk to Hall brought home Trent Matthews with the winning run in a 2-1 Windsor victory.
“Montgomery came ready to play,” Avila said later. “They took some good swings against Gary and drove some balls to the outfield. But Gary held up and pitched well.”
Soltanizadeh stayed hot with two hits in four trips including a double, while other top hitters were Antonio Rivera (1 for 3, run), Tyler Nordyke (1 for 2) and Anthony Guzman (1 for 3).