Oak Ridge tops Rocklin 2-1 in 12 innings

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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It took 12 innings, but the Oak Ridge High baseball team beat Rocklin 2-1 late Wednesday night at Sacramento City College. This three-game series, which will decide who will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II finals, is now tied 1-1. Rocklin won game one 7-6 in nine innings on Monday. Game three is set for 7 p.m. Thursday. If that game is rained out than game three will be played Saturday afternoon at a time that is to be determined. Either way it will be at Sacramento City College. The winner will meet Granite Bay in the DII finals at 6 p.m. Monday at Sacramento City College. Granite Bay beat Roseville 9-3 on Wednesday night to advance to the championship game. Wednesday night’s game between Rocklin (22-8) and Oak Ridge (27-3) was close to being suspended due to a midnight curfew. Tournament director Guy Anderson said an inning could not start after midnight. The game ended at 11:25 p.m. Both starting pitchers, senior Matt Fielding for Rocklin and senior Kyle Porter for Oak Ridge, were dominant. Fielding lasted seven innings (12 strikeouts, five hits, two walks, one run, one earned run) while Porter lasted eight (13 strikeouts, five hits, one walk, one run, one earned run). Ben Brown pitched the final five innings for Rocklin, giving up two walks, three hits and one run while striking out three. Chris Muse-Fisher threw the final four innings for Oak Ridge (three strikeouts, two hits). Oak Ridge scored its first run in the top of the fifth inning when the Trojans loaded the bases with one out (walk, safe on fielder’s choice, intentional walk). Senior Stephen Barisone then singled to right field to score the game’s first run. Rocklin tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs. Brown and Vince Cisneros hit two-out singles off Porter and then Chris Streeter tied the game with a two-out single to score Brown. This forced extra innings. Oak Ridge’s Jake Schu led off the top of the 12th inning with an infield single and he advanced to second because of a Rocklin throwing error on the play. Schu then tagged up and went to third when Barisone flew out to center field. Porter was walked intentionally and that created a first and third, one-out situation for Jordan Mills. Mills bunted to Brown, the pitcher, who threw to the plate to try to get Schu out. The home-plate umpire ruled that Rocklin catcher Wes Marker didn’t tag Schu, who had missed home plate. Schu then snuck his foot back and touched home plate before Marker could tag him. Oak Ridge would take this 2-1 lead into the last of the 12th inning and the Thunder went down 1-2-3 in the 12th. “He tagged him,” said Rocklin coach Roc Murray about the play at the plate. “Both Fielding and Brown did a great job (on the mound).” Murray says Kyle Garvella will start on the mound in game three for the Thunder. “He didn’t get tagged,” Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said about the play at the plate. “He (the umpire) didn’t make a call (initially, implying that Marker didn’t tag out Schu). “So much of that inning was Schu. A guy with speed (Schu) puts the ball on the ground and gets to second base. Then he tags up and gets to third on a ball that wasn’t that deep.” The Trojans had won 25 consecutive games prior to Monday. The Trojans hadn’t lost since March 9 and were ranked No. 9 in the state by prior to this series.