Jhoan Ortega leads Tech baseball past Minuteman

Tech's Jhoan Orega pitched five shutout innings in Tuesday's win. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Jhoan Ortega was the star of the show Tuesday afternoon, leading the Tech baseball team on both offense and defense in a five-inning 11-0 shutout win over Minuteman in at Fraser Field. Ortega pitched all five innings and allowed just one hit while striking out seven. He also helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.

“He’s our ace, we rely on him every time he’s out there and he came through for us again,” said Tech coach Rich Germano. “He’s been our leader this year and he hasn’t disappointed. And to have him get a couple RBI to help his own cause, that was just a bonus.”

But it wasn’t just Ortega who contributed offensively. Eight of the nine hitters in Tech’s order notched at least one hit, with Jared Moore (3-for-4, two runs scored) Domenic Giordano (1-for-3), Jordanny Diaz (1-for-3), Edward Cuevas (1-for-2) and Bryce Whitcomb (1-for-4) each recording one RBI.

“We’ve gotten a lot of contributions from all over the lineup, which has been a huge help for us,” Germano said. “We’ve had veterans like Jhoan and Jared step up and we’ve also had young guys like Domenic come alive, so it’s been a great mix. Hopefully we can continue this level of hitting as we play the rest of our league games.”

Tech got things going right away. After Ortega breezed through a 1-2-3 top of the first, the Tigers came to the plate in the bottom of the inning and struck right away. Whitcomb beat out an infield single, stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball to get into scoring position. Ortega then stepped up and knocked him in with a RBI single to make it 1-0. Ortega stole second himself and advanced to third on a groundout before scoring on a passed ball. After the Tigers pushed another run across via an error, Tech had a 3-0 lead.

That turned out to be all the scoring Tech needed. Ortega allowed a leadoff single in the top of the second, but then went on to retire the next 12 batters in a row to close out the game.

The Tigers continued to add to their lead in bottom of the second, getting runs on a RBI groundout from Whitcomb and a RBI single from Giordano to make it 5-0.

But the game was put away in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers loaded up the bases and scored on a passed ball to make it 6-0, then Diaz smacked a RBI single to go up 7-0. Cuevas, Moore and Ortega also added RBI singles in the inning, and the Tigers notched one more run on a passed ball to make it 11-0 and end the game via the 10-run rule.

Now at 4-6 on the season and 4-0 in league play, the Tigers are hoping to continue their solid play into the end of the season and earn a state tournament spot.

“I’m not totally thrilled with where we’re at just because we lost some tough games early in the season, but we’re starting to really come around and play well,” said Germano. “The hitting is starting to show up and we have a lot of team chemistry, so I think things can continue to get even better from here.”

Tech will travel to Nashoba Wednesday afternoon (4).

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