Prep baseball: Jones’ late blast not enough as Bonneville slide continues
WASHINGTON TERRACE — It was a fastball at the knees and this time, Brian Jones got it over the fence.
Bonneville’s junior catcher smoked a three-run home run to right-center field to give the Lakers life in a seventh-inning rally, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Juan Diego took advantage of Bonneville errors to build a 6-0 lead and survive a late push in a 6-4 win Tuesday, handing Bonneville (4-3 Region 11) its third loss in four games after starting region play with a sweep.
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“We’ve been struggling a little bit defensively, it’s tough to spot them six runs, that’s a pretty good team,” Lakers head coach Scott Jorgensen said. “(Cooper Rust) was throwing pretty good on the mound.”
Rust pitched five scoreless innings for Juan Diego, allowing one hit and two walks with nine strikeouts, including all three batters in the fourth inning. His curveball, in particular, kept the Lakers from putting much together the first five innings.
The damage started with two outs in the second inning, when the Soaring Eagle’s Adam Kessler hit a ground ball that wasn’t fielded properly, allowing a run to score.
After a hit batter loaded the bases, Rex Jones guided a bases-clearing double to left field and Juan Diego went ahead 4-0. Jorgensen said defense has been an issue for the Lakers the past couple games, and if they fix that, they’ll right the ship.
“It’s a lot of the little things that need to be made, that little ground ball or that dinky fly ball that people take for granted, you just have to focus up and make a play,” Jones said.
Joey Morgan pitched 4 2/3 innings for Bonneville, allowing the six runs on four hits with six walks (two hit batters) and six strikeouts. The Soaring Eagle scored twice more in the fourth inning to go up 6-0 before Jones put some life into Bonneville in the sixth.
He smoked a line-drive double off the fence in left, about 4 feet from being a home run, and Bridger Butters knocked in the Lakers’ first run two batters later.
Christian Soria walked and Spencer Hildebrand singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, then Jones — who also caught a runner stealing in the first inning — sent relief pitcher Joe Richardson’s fastball out of the park.
Juan Diego’s center fielder took about four steps and stopped, watching the ball as it finally came down near the softball field. One batter later, though, and the Lakers were watching the Soaring Eagle high-five each other on the pitcher’s mound.