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Elk Grove Citizen

Herd Comes up Short On Strikes in Loss to Jesuit

Mar 28, 2024 10:18AM ● By By Alejandro Barron
ELK GROVE (MPG) - The Elk Grove Thundering Herd were a game away from sweeping the Jesuit Marauders in a season series for the first time since 2017, yet the wait will continue as they dropped the final game away from home on March 15 by a score of 8-3.
The Herd struggled to throw strikes in the final game of their first league series of the season, according to head coach Joe Bellotti, which resulted in eight runs, 10 hits and a home run from the Mauraders. 
“I just don’t think we were throwing enough strikes early on in the count and we were behind a lot and these guys (the Marauders) are too good for us to be pitching from behind but it’s something we’re going to have to figure out,” Bellotti said. 
In the first two games in the series, where the Herd took game one by score of 11-4 and game two by 11-3, pitchers gave up a total of seven runs, 14 hits, totaling 12 strikeouts and not allowing a home run. 
Offensively the Herd couldn’t match what they did in the first two games as they put up 11 runs and 11 hits in each of the two first games while in the final game the Herd totaled three runs and 8 hits 
Although they couldn’t match themselves offensively, this isn’t due to what the Herd hitters were lacking, but what the Marauder pitchers were doing, according to Bellotti. 
“I think we just have to tip our hat to Max Weisner (starting pitcher for Jesuit) as he’s been doing this for a while as a three year varsity guy and he did his job,” Bellotti said. “He shut us down although we could’ve had some better at-bats but sometimes that’s how it goes and they did a really good job today and that’s how it goes sometimes in the Delta where we face a lot of good teams and on any day it could flip on you quick.”
Despite the lack of runs, sophomore Tristen Bartlett and senior Ned Frutchey had multi-hit games, each going 2-3 with singles with Frutchey driving in a run. 
The positive takeaway for Bellotti was being able to start league play 2-1 in such a tough league like the Delta. 
“That’s the positive but we have the hammer on them (the Marauders) in case of a tie situation as they’re going to win a lot of games in the Delta,” Bellotti said . “We just have to keep getting better as we’re really young and sometimes there’s still some growing pains as it’s still early on in the season for us so we have a lot of games left.” 
Bellotti noted he has some players on his roster who are learning on the fly at the varsity level and that’s okay as they’re showing a lot of potential and by the end of the year they’ll show people how good of ballplayers they are. 
The Herd sit in third place of the Delta League, as they were the only team to not sweep their series, as Davis sit in first and Pleasant Grove in second place as the Herd are now 2-1 in league and 4-3 on the season.