Oak Ridge relief pitcher Jason Ross battled out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Trojans to a 5-4 Delta River League win over Pleasant Grove Monday.
The loss was the Eagles' first league defeat this season after sweeping three games from Sheldon last week. Oak Ridge is now 2-2 in the DRL. The two teams play again Tuesday in El Dorado Hills.
The Trojans got three runs off Eagle ace Zack Stilwell (4-1) in the fourth inning. Oak Ridge loaded the bases with one out. After Stilwell struck out Cody Uharriet, Alex Fitchett dribbled an slow roller that shortstop JQ Folena couldn't make a play on. Jason Ross followed with a line drive off Folena's outstretched mitt and two more runs scored.
Eagle bats were frustrated by Trojan sophomore pitcher Austin Root for six innings, but threatened to win the game in the final frame. Josh Adams led off with a single and was sent to third on Matt Stafford's hit down the right field line. After Stilwell walked to load the bases, Nico Toni knocked in Adams on a ground ball out to narrow the margin to 5-4, Oak Ridge.
Coach Rob Rinaldi thought about squeezing in Stafford from third with one out and Austin Friello.
"Those guys can't bunt," Rinaldi said of his next two batters. So, Ross struck out Friello and Bronson Grubbs to end the game.
In giving up five hits to Pleasant Grove, Root picked up his fourth win of the year, pitching six innings, striking out three and walking none. That was his third complete game win.
Stilwell struck out eight batters, but walked two, gave up nine hits and two earned runs.
After Tuesday game, the two clubs play for a third and final time this season Thursday at Pleasant Grove.