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Porters Opening Day Nightmare translates into 8-4 Bajenski Tourney loss to Brother Rice

It was Opening Day for Lockport, as the Porters opened up against the Crusaders of Brother Rice in pool-play action of the Stephen M. Bajenski Memorial Baseball Tournament.

Brother Rice had crushed the Porters' Southwest Suburban Blue arch-rivals from Carl Sandburg 11-6 on Monday at Ozinga Field in Crestwood.

Seven Porter errors led to seven unearned Brother Rice (2-0) runs and the Porters fell 8-4.

The Porters were led by their senior shortstop Ryan Moerman, who fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle, with a double, a two-run homer and a single.

With one out in the top of the first inning, Moerman doubled and moved to third on an infield hit by sophomore third baseman Anthony Martinez and scored the first run of the game on a Crusader throwing error on the infield hit.

In the bottom of the first inning, four physical errors and two errors of omission by the Porters, led to four Crusader runs of which three were unearned. Snake-bitten starting and losing Porters pitcher CJ Byrdak (0-1; 2 IP, 5R, 3H, 1ER), should have been out of the inning with the Porters leading 1-0.

Moerman unloaded on his traveling-team buddy, Brother Rice starting and winning pitcher, Ben Guzek (1-0; 5IP, 4R 6H 2ER 2K 2BB), with a Porter aboard and two outs in the top of the second.

Moerman's 400-foot blast over the centerfield wall, pulled the Porters within 4-3.

"I have to say it sure felt good to hit the big two-run homer," Moerman said. "It was even extra special to hit it of my friend, Guzek. He'll hear about it tonight."

The Porters would make their fifth and sixth errors in the second and third innings, which lea to three more Brother Rice unearned runs and a 7-3 Crusader lead.

Porters junior David Zaragoza (3.2IP, 2R, 3H, 0ER) did an outstanding job in relief of Byrdak.

"David did a great job in relief for us tonight," Lockport coach Andy Satunas said. "David will be at the top of our rotation this season with the variety of quality pitches he can throw."

On a humorous note we go to the Porters seventh.

Looking for anyway to get on base, but personally, looking for a triple to hit for the cycle, Moerman was robbed of a single by Brother Rice centerfielder Nick Cipriani's diving catch.

Next up, Porters junior first baseman Vic Izquierdo (2-for-4, 3B), hammered a shot over Cipriani's head for the triple that Moerman was looking for. Izquierdo was stranded on third to end the game.

"Our pitching was great today today. We let them down in the field. We can pitch. We can hit. We will fix the problems on defense and we are going to win a lot of games this year. We are ready for Sandburg tomorrow. Ben Guzek does have bragging rights for the victory," Moerman concluded.

"Seven errors. Seven unearned runs," Satunas added. "Opening Day jitters OK but if we make the plays on defense, we win today. We will be fine. It's just one game. We will be ready for Sandburg tomorrow."

On Wednesday, an early SWSC Blue showdown between the Porters and rival Sandburg in the Bajenski Memorial Tournament at Ozinga Field in Crestwood at 4:30 P.M.


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