Tustin High School got by with the expected and unexpected Wednesday in its Sea View League baseball game against Estancia.
The expected came in the form of pitcher Monte Jones and his overpowering fastball, which made a 1-0 lead stand up at Tustin.
A two-hit shutout, nine strikeouts, only four balls hit out of the infield--just another day on the mound for Jones (4-0).
“Monte usually has more strikeouts,” Coach Vince Brown said. “We actually had to field the ball a little more behind him today.”
Which is where the unexpected came in.
The Tillers (7-5 overall, 2-0 in league play) have been anything but exemplary fielders. Already this season the Tillers’ infield has made 16 errors, including five in one game against Santa Ana.
But on Wednesday, the infielders made big plays whenever Jones allowed runners on base.
With one out in the third inning, Estancia’s Jason White drew one of the five walks allowed by Jones. But the rally never got going.
First, Tustin third baseman Brian Gill chased a foul pop fly half way down the left-field line, making an over-the-shoulder catch. Second baseman Chuck Var then made a diving stop on a ground ball to end the inning.
With one out in the fifth, the Eagles (7-5, 0-2) put two runners on base via walks. But again, the Tillers’ infield bailed Jones out as Var started an inning-ending double play.
“Early in the season, we were working a lot on hitting and our fielding kind of sagged,” Brown said. “The last couple of weeks we’ve been putting in a little extra time on the fielding.”
Tustin certainly had a better time in the field than the Eagles, who committed two costly errors in the second.
After Eric Grove doubled with one out, Var hit a routine ground ball to shortstop White, who bobbled it to put runners on first and third. Ted Wieczorek then hit a chopper that went through the legs of third baseman Gary Burrows, scoring Grove.
In other Sea View League games:
Corona del Mar 3, Newport Harbor 2--Reese Thorkelson’s base-loaded single scored the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh for Corona del Mar (5-6, 2-0).
Saddleback 4, University 3--George Canhem singled home Sean Simon with no outs in the top of the seventh for Saddleback (6-6, 2-0).