It’s been a rocky start to the season for the St. Helena High varsity baseball team, which lost to visiting El Molino of Forestville Saturday, 11-1.
The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Saints starting pitcher Caleb Jeske was tagged for nine runs (seven earned) in the loss. In the fourth frame, the Lions strung together five consecutive hits to open a 7-0 lead and chased the sophomore after 3 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out two in his second start of the season.
Luis Robledo pitched an inning of relief for the Saints (0-4), surrendering two runs on one hit, hit two batters and notched one strikeout. Caleb Granados got the final two outs of the contest in six pitches.
With an early end to the contest looming, the Saints avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back hits by Randall Mosley (2 for 2, steal) and Alex Kerr (2 for 2, run) started the rally, but the home team was only able to score Kerr on a two-out, RBI single from Stephen Collins (1 for 3, RBI). On that play, Carlos Acuna, who reached on a fielder’s choice, was called out at home plate to end the game.
Mosley and Kerr went back-to-back in the second inning too, putting runners on the corners, but neither player was able to score.
St. Helena had six hits and committed four errors. Jeske went 1 for 3, and Robledo and Alexis Velasco both earned a walk.
The Saints will try to secure their first win of the year on the road Tuesday, facing Healdsburg at 7 p.m.
El Molino 5, St. Helena 2
The Saints stranded at least one baserunner in all but three innings Saturday, unable to recover from the visiting Lions’ four-run rally in the opening frame.
However, they broke through in the seventh, earning two runs in a bases-loaded sequence. Jonathan Gamble (1 for 3, double, run, two steals), who reached on a walk, stole third base and home plate to put the Saints’ first run on the scoreboard. Then Conlan Harrington (1 for 3, run, two steals) scored in the same fashion before Emmet Bowen struck out to end it.
Jackson Dena, St. Helena’s starting pitcher, was pulled after just one out, tossing five strikes in 20 pitches. He allowed three runs, walked three and struck out one batter. Sam Coltrin and Gamble teamed up for a two-run effort over the remainder of the game. Coltrin surrendered one unearned run on two hits and struck out four in 32⁄3 innings of work; Gamble went three innings, allowed four hits and one run.
The Saints out-hit the Lions 7-6 but committed two errors. Dena was 1 for 4 with a steal, Bowen 1 for 4, Stacey Nelson was 1 for 2 with a walk, Gabe Cornejo went 1 for 3, and Javin Yorgensen 1 for 3 with a steal.
St. Helena is on the road at Healdsburg Tuesday with a 4 p.m. first pitch.