Wheatley keeps Orange Lutheran alive in Trinity League
SANTA ANA – An explosive eight-run fourth inning by the visiting Orange Lutheran Lancers might go a long way in deciding the tight Trinity League race. Mater Dei (17-5, 9-2) allowed 10 hits and committed two errors in the 8-3 loss, as Orange Lutheran's senior pitcher Brent Wheatley pitched a complete game.
“The Trinity League is in our hands,” Wheatley said. “But we've got to come out against (St. John Bosco) with the same intensity we did tonight.”
Wheatley had a long break as his Lancers (17-4, 10-1) exploited bunts for eight runs in the fourth inning. Mater Dei junior pitcher Davis Tominaga was shelled for five runs, and was replaced by sophomore Charlie Vorscheck, who almost immediately gave up three more in his two thirds of an inning.
By the time the bleeding had stopped, senior shortstop Cody Nulph had scored on two bunts, then got back to the plate to hit a two RBI single.
“We know we aren't going to come to Mater Dei and hit homeruns,” said Orange Lutheran head coach Eric Borba. “We have to do the small things. We had actually been struggling with bunting.”
Monarchs senior right fielder Ty Moore went 2 for 4 including a double in the fifth. He scored on a passed ball to third as he was stealing.
“We had games earlier this season where we put up big numbers in one inning, but that's just baseball,” Moore said. “We're down one (in Trinity play) but definitely not out.”
Jason Martin, a junior designated hitter, and sophomore third baseman Josh Morgan each went 2 for 4 in the win, revenge for Wednesday's 1-0 to the Monarchs in Orange.
“We're chasing the game right now,” said Mater Dei head coach Burt Call of his team's one game deficit in league. “But it's going to be a race to the finish.”