The St. Mary’s Knights struggled to get anything going on offense against Shadow Mountain’s ace pitcher Colton McIntosh during Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Matadors.
St. Mary’s lone success on offense came in the second inning where they took a 1-0 lead on freshman pitcher Alonso Conteras’ RBI single. The team ran bases well, accumulating four stolen bases in the game. The team also got a solid performance out of their pitching staff, who recorded a combined nine strikeouts and two earned runs.
Fielding was the biggest issue for the Knights, as they had four errors that ended up being costly. In the disastrous fifth inning, the team had a throwing error and catcher error that led to three runs following back to back walks.
The Knights then turned to sophomore relief pitcher Jaxon Rideau to close out the game, and he delivered by throwing a strikeout with a runner in scoring position to end the 5th inning and proceeded to throw two more scoreless innings. He finished the day with one earned run allowed, three hits allowed and four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings pitched.
St. Mary’s coach Joseph Ponce recognized that his infield struggled on Tuesday.
“We were careless with the baseball,” Ponce said. “That’s been our Achilles heel all season, the fourth or fifth inning the wheels fall off defensively and it’s almost insurmountable at that point.”
Ponce was “really proud” of his pitching staff’s performance, knowing that his reliever was in a tough position after he had to pull out his starter because freshman pitchers cannot exceed 95 pitches.
Conteras was optimistic about his team’s performance. He thought the pitching staff did a great job and also believed the team was successful on offense when they were able to get on base.
“[We’ve just got to] put the ball in play,” Conteras said.
Sophomore Jaxon Rideau was not so optimistic about Tuesday’s loss. He said he considered the team’s performance to be “subpar.”
He believes that errors were a major issue and they need to “cut that” going forward. He added that he and his teammates are mentally and physically prepared to win Thursday’s rematch against the Matadors.
“I know what we’re capable of and I don’t think we’ve reached our full potential,” Rideau said.