Father Lopez found itself down 4-0 early in the game, couldn't recover and lost its second game this season.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
There wasn’t much going Father Lopez’s way Tuesday night, but that can happen with a schedule engineered to prepare a team for the playoffs.
The Green Wave (6-2) were handed their second loss of the season in a 10-1 contest against University March 12, at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.
Head coach Trevor Berryhill said it was another tough opponent in a purposefully tough schedule for a team with nine seniors.
The lone Father Lopez run came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Joe Skinner drove in Matt Deluca with a two-out single, when the game was long out of reach.
University scored two runs in the first inning, off starting pitcher Sam Shields, and another two runs in the third inning to put Father Lopez in an early hole, on a night when the offense wasn’t sharp.
“We’re very good offensively,” Berryhill said. “And we lost to a guy throwing almost 95% fastballs, so it upsets you a little bit, but (I’m) still very, very ecstatic about my team and (I’m) just going to continue to coach them up.”
Shields pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs, despite getting the first batter of each inning out, and battling when he had runners on base.
Tommy Roache moved from outfielder to pitcher in the top of the fourth, relieving Shields, and pitched scoreless baseball until two outs in the seventh, when University scored four runs.
But Berryhill said the game didn’t fall on the pitchers’ shoulders, but instead was the result of an overall frustrating night.
“It comes down to, you’re dealing with 14 to 18-year-olds,” he said. “And we’re trying to teach them a way to play the game, and a thought process, and an approach. And we got down a little bit early, and I think they kind of were back on their heels after that, instead of being the aggressor.”
The Green Wave left seven runners on base, including at least one in each of the first five innings, and only twice had a runner advance to third base, including Deluca’s run in the seventh.
Catcher Zack Hawk, who is hitting about .600 this season, was 0-3 on the night, but made two defensive plays — throwing out a runner stealing second and getting an out at the plate after getting run over — that Berryhill said shows his value to the team.
“Anybody can win on any given night,” he said. “And so coming out and being consistent, on a daily basis, is what I’m trying to harp to these guys.
“And Zack is a guy that gives me everything, every single game. He didn’t have it at the plate (tonight) ... but it’s not always about the double and the triple and the RBIs.”