Tech baseball splits a pair of weekend games

LYNN — It was feast or famine for the Lynn Tech baseball team this weekend.

The feast came Sunday at Fraser Field when the Tigers pounded Pope John, 14-8. The famine came a day earlier, also a Fraser, when Tech fell to Whittier, 14-0.

In Sunday’s game, junior Kenny Moore gutted out six innings while freshman Isaiah Martinez hit a line-drive shot out of the ballpark for a 3-run homer.

“I feel very good,” said Tech coach Rich Germano. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores on this team, and I think we’re going to be good.”

Jared Moore, another freshmen, was 3-for-4 with 4 RBI, catcher Serey Eang knocked in three, and Jhoan Ortiz — the victim of Saturday’s onslaught — had one.

Saturday, the Tigers, thanks to a strong effort from Ortega, kept within striking distance of Whittier through the first four innings. But the Wildcats added two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and exploded for a 7-run rally in the seventh to pull away from the Tigers.

“We made too many mistakes, too many fielding mistakes,” Germano said. “We couldn’t get the big hit. It was a tough loss. It was a great game through the first four innings but we made a lot of mistakes. A lot of them were mental mistakes.”

Ortega didn’t overpower the Whittier bats but the right-hander did his best in keeping the Tigers in the game. He finished the game with a six-inning effort, allowed five earned runs on seven hits and tallied seven strikeouts.

“Jhoan was unbelievable,” Germano said. “He always is. It’s a shame to waste it on a game like that but we’ll come back. We’re still 2-1. We’re in the CAC Small and Whittier’s in the CAC Large so we still have a great chance in our division.”

The Tigers collected three hits in the losing effort. Two of them were singles from the bats of designated hitter Chris Tejeda and shortstop Jordanny Diaz. The other was a double popped to deep-centerfield from Ortega’s bat.

Whittier took advantage of Tech miscues to score three in the top of the first. Three singles, two doubles, one error and three passed balls granted the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead.

Ortega and the Tigers settled down for the next two innings. A Tech infield error with two outs equated to another Wildcats run, after two stolen bases and a passed ball, in the top of the fourth.

Tech had its chances to climb back in but the Tigers couldn’t come through with the big hit. Leadoff singles in the bottom halves of the first and third were nullified when both runners were thrown out attempting to steal second.

Looking to help his own cause and spark Tech’s offense, Ortega laced a one-out double to deep-center in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Wildcats ended the threat with back to back strikeouts to keep Tech off the board.

After that, it was all Whittier. With a 7-0 lead the Wildcats put the game well out of reach by adding seven runs in the top of the seventh. The Tigers committed four errors in that frame.

“That inning put us out,” Germano said. “We almost gave up 10 runs in that inning. We can’t afford that. We just have to keep on working.”

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