Sunset vs. Jesuit (Bambusch vs. Martinek)
An awesome day for baseball matched two aces against each other. Senior Zane Bambusch (RHP Sunset) was tasked with holding a deep Jesuit offense at bay, but ran into some early trouble. Jesuit took the early lead, scoring 3 runs off Bambusch in the top of the first with RBI singles from Peter Dempsey and Peter Davis and an RBI double by Matt Decker. They struck again for another run in the second with a Harrison Bruce single scoring Nick Choruby. Three additional runs in the fourth inning marked the end of Bambusch's day. Trevor Caldwell came in to throw the final three innings. He wasn't particularly overpowering, but used some craftiness to hold the Jesuit offense down for two innings before they added a pair of insurance runs in the 7th.
Bambusch was a little too far up in the zone and erratic to have a lot of success this particular day. Consistency in the strike zone is a key for any pitcher. Zane has a tendency to take his eyes away from his target (something I used to do as well) in the middle of his delivery. For some pitchers this can work, but when you're struggling with location it is important to be focused on where you are throwing the ball. Losing sight of the target then trying to pick it up again is a lot to manage for even the best pitchers. It wasn't his best, as I have seen Zane at the top of his game and he can be nearly unhittable. He threw 4 innings, allowing 8 hits, 7 runs (6 earned, 3 walks, and struck out 4.
Speaking of unhittable, sophomore Christian Martinek (LHP Jesuit) again showed why he is one of the top pitchers in the state. Although he didn't have his best fastball today (sitting in the upper 80's), he still dominated in this outing. He had seven strikeouts through three innings, at one point striking out four hitters in a row on 13 consecutive fastballs, and faced the minimum through four innings. His breaking ball was inconsistent when he did throw it, but I expect command of that to come as he is forced to throw it more often.
UPDATE (4/15/12): Remember, everything I write is my opinion. I wrote that Martinek "didn't have his best fastball" because I saw him against Canby and thought he located better. I wrote "sitting upper 80's" because, many times readers wonder how hard a kid is throwing. BUT there is much more to pitching than velocity (location and movement are more important). Martinek is the whole package and I was voicing an opinion based upon what I saw this particular outing. Sorry Christian, Jesuit, or anyone else who thought this was a negative post, it was not my intention. Keep working hard.
Sunset finally had an opportunity in the 5th when Ryan Carter led off getting hit by a pitch, then Austin Hempy reached on a fielders' choice, errant throw. However, they weren't able to capitalize and Martinek was able to get out of trouble. The Apollos were hitless through five, but Landon Coffey ended the no-hit bid with a single to left. He later came around to score the first and only run on a single by shortstop Cam Russ. Martinek ended his day after 6 innings, only allowing 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk (and a hit batter), and 10 strikeouts.
Tony Albanese made quick work of the Sunset offense in the bottom of the 7th, striking out the first two hitters he faced and inducing a game-ending ground ball to shortstop Choruby. Albanese is a guy who looks like he will be a very solid relief pitcher for Jesuit all season long and will prove to be a valuable asset down the stretch when pitching staffs tend to thin out.
Sunset just ran into overpowering pitching today and will look to bounce back in their next outing.
Final Score: Jesuit 9, Sunset 1