Starting pitcher AJ Jones struck out five as the Mt. Hope baseball team edged La Salle 1-0 at Guiertas Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies swept the two game series with the Rams and clinched …
Starting pitcher AJ Jones struck out five as the Mt. Hope baseball team edged La Salle 1-0 at Guiertas Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Huskies swept the two game series with the Rams and clinched fourth place in Division I-B with a record of 11-7. The fielders played flawlessly behind Jones who allowed just six hits and three walks in a seven inning complete game shutout of the fifth place Rams.
“I was very lucky to have them behind me today,” said Jones of the Huskies defense.
“Our defense played great and AJ went out there and shoved today,” said Mt. Hope head coach Mike Mazzarella. “We are maturing at the right time. Another errorless game. That’s the formula for us, timely hitting, good defense and great pitching. We are going to win games.”
The Huskies scored the game winning run in the second inning. Matt Gale hit a one out triple to right field and scampered home when Rams pitcher Patrick Jones threw a wild pitch to the backstop while pitching to Ryan Hopkins, to give Mt. Hope a 1-0 lead.
“Gale is the most clutch player in Mt. Hope history,” said Jones. “He comes up big every time we need him.”
Jones and the defense got out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the fifth inning. Rams outfielder Shea Caton tagged up and ran home on a fly ball hit to right fielder Caleb DeCastro to scored what looked like the tying run. DeCastro made the catch and threw home to catcher Jack Standish who turned with the ball to see Caton slide by the plate. He walked over and tagged the outfielder out for an improbable double play. The hometown fans cheered as the surprised Caton and the Rams argued the call. Second baseman Parker Camelo scooped up a grounder and threw to shortstop Dayton Van Amberg covering second base for the third out of the inning.
La Salle had a second chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning. Caton led off the inning with a base hit. Jones then struck out Connor Walsh for the first out of the inning. Caton looked over at third base coach Tom Pacia for the sign and as Jones made a pitch, he took off to steal second base. Standish caught the pitch and threw a strike to Parker Camelo who slapped the tag on Caton for the second out of the inning. Caton had a painful look on his face as he doggedly headed back to the dugout after the play. Coach Pacia shook his head with disgust as he stood next to the third base bag.
With two outs, Jones went back to work and struck out Rams lead off hitter Michael Salzillo to end the game. The big righty pumped his fist as he walked off the mound to meet Standish by the third baseline.
“AJ is a phenomenal pitcher. He pitches with a lot of heart and emotion. He throws hard and has a great curve ball. He put the team on his back today. I’m proud of him.”
Next up: Mt. Hope will host a home playoff game on Tuesday May 31. Their opponent will be determined over the last week of play.