Guards Find Going Rough!

March 17, 2010 by  

BRACE PARK — Bell-Jeff dealing with injury problems following 17-8 home loss against Viewpoint..

It looked as if Bellarmine-Jefferson High baseball team had everything mapped out for building a successful team prior to the start of the season.

However, in the past week injuries have struck the squad, forcing coaches to move players to different positions and give some inexperienced athletes more playing time.

The Guards had two players hampered with injuries Tuesday in a nonleague game against Viewpoint at Brace Park.

Having to use four pitchers, Bell-Jeff fell to the Patriots, 17-8, in a game that was called after five innings because of a time limit on the field.

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“You really can’t account for injuries,” Bell-Jeff Coach Hector Perez said. “That’s something that you just can’t plan on. Because of the injuries that we’ve had, we are moving guys around and some of the young guys that didn’t figure to play a lot are now getting into games for us.”

The biggest injury came last week when Bell-Jeff (3-1) lost the services of junior Phillip Diaz, who broke his ankle in practice. A former All-CIF Southern Section pick, Diaz hit .311 (19 for 61) with 25 runs scored and 13 runs batted in last season.

Tuesday, the team lost starting left-handed pitcher Tony Tunzi. The senior had to leave the game in the first inning after injuring his throwing arm.

“He’s going to the hospital to have his arm checked,” Perez said.

Shortstop Matt Landini injured his knee during the game, as Perez said he was told by the sophomore that “he heard his knee pop.”

Having to save ace pitcher Patrick Haney for the Guards’ Santa Fe League opener Friday against St. Anthony, Perez had to find hurlers to fill in against Viewpoint (4-0).

“We were definitely in damage control,” Perez said. “But I give credit to the guys who did come in and pitch for us. They were in there giving it the best that they had.”

Bell-Jeff pitchers surrendered 11 hits and 10 walks.

The Patriots took a 5-0 lead after the first inning and increased the advantage to 7-1 in the top of the second.

But Bell-Jeff battled back, scoring three runs in its portion of the second to make a game of it.

Unfortunately, the Guards couldn’t silence the Viewpoint bats, as it tacked on six runs in the third and four more in the fourth.

Bell-Jeff accounted for three runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth.

The Guards’ offense was paced by Landini, Haney and Michael Martinez. Landini was two for four with a double and three runs scored, Haney was one for three with a sacrifice and two RBI and Martinez was two for four with a double and an RBI.

Mitch Kellogg, Anthony Aiello and Johnny Karalis also had hits for the Guards.

“The most important thing for us is our league games,” Perez said. “It really doesn’t matter about the preleague games, it only matters when it comes to league. I think we’re going to be ready for St. Anthony on Friday.”

Jeff Tully

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