Grizzly power overcomes Del Oro in the end

Marjama blast lifts Granite Bay to road win
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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The big bats were in full swing Thursday in Loomis. The last blast decided the outcome in the top of the seventh inning as the rain began to fall and the Granite Bay High baseball team scored the winning runs to drop Del Oro 7-5. Jake Marjama was the hero for the Grizzlies after Riley Drongesen tied it up with an RBI double. With Drongesen on second base and two outs, Marjama went down 0-2 in the count as he looked into the eyes of Del Oro relief pitcher Bryan Bynum. Marjama caught hold of a breaking ball and drove it nearly 400 feet over the right-center wall for a two-run home run. “I wasn’t really thinking about being down 0-and-2 honestly,” Marjama said. “I struggled the first few at bats but you forget about those and move on when you get up for the next one because that’s the important one. We’ve struggled with some every man for himself type of stuff this season and have been putting in a lot of work before games to change that. You know, it’s not over until it’s over.” Braden Young closed out the game for Granite Bay in relief of Josh Hall. He threw the final two innings and allowed no runs, one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. Two of the strikeouts were the ones that closed out the contest in the Golden Eagle seventh. “We’ve been playing with that mental toughness we need lately,” said Granite Bay coach Pat Esposito. “Our guys have been playing with our emotions on our sleeves in some recent games and we’ve been talking about playing against the baseball and not the other team. We proved that today, we had a good pitching performance from Josh Hall and Braden (Young) came in and shut the door. It was a tough game. The last three have been see-saw battles back and forth.” Andrew Knapp began the scoring in the first inning with a solo homer over the opposite field wall on the second pitch he saw from Del Oro starter Cole Perez. Cooper Johnson tied it with an RBI double in the bottom of the second, and Del Oro scored a second run on an error. Jimmy Jack’s third-inning sacrifice fly brought in Nate Esposito, who began the inning with a double to left, with the tying run. Jordan got another run home with an infield single and Sean Sundberg made it 4-2 with a run-scoring double. Del Oro regained control of the game with three runs of its own in the fifth. Perez had an RBI double followed by a two-run single by Max Magleby for the 5-4 lead. The stage was set for a big bat and that’s exactly what Marjama provided. Eagles Head Coach Bret Lachemann said he doesn’t regret any decisions made in the game. “Bryan (Bynum) is one of our better pitchers, but every game against Granite Bay was a back and forth battle,” Lachemann said. “We’ve played these guys like nine or 10 times in our last regular season and playoff games so every game is just a crazy game. I never feel comfortable until the last out and I didn’t today and their hitters came up big. We battled and we need to do some better things in execution, maybe some mistakes in coaching and tightening up some screws here and there. Play well over spring break and come back strong.” The win gave Granite Bay the series advantage to open the SFL season as the Grizzlies won the final two games of the three-game set. The Grizzlies (2-1 in the SFL, 5-3 overall) head to Buchanan, Clovis North and Clovis West over Spring Break in a tournament against some of the state and nation’s best. They have a three-game series against Rocklin with two games at home following the tournament break. The Eagles (1-2 , 4-3-1) are in Reno and Sparks, Nevada over Spring Break for their tournament. Their series at Oakmont begins the following week as they look to bounce back from two straight league losses.