Montoursville beats Jersey Shore baseball, 10-0 | News, Sports, Jobs
Leaving Florida and arriving at a school where he didn’t know anyone, AJ Llorente might have felt lost. Almost immediately he felt something quite different.
Between the start of the school year and the baseball season, Llorente felt at home again. And in conditions he had never experienced while playing in Florida, Llorente looked like he was home Friday against the visit from the Jersey Shore.
Neither the Bulldogs, 40 mph winds or two rainy delays couldn’t shake Llorente who threw a masterful shutout with one shot and led in two points to help Montoursville shutout Jersey Shore, 10- 0 in five rounds. Llorente was tied for the zone lead in wins, improving to 5-0 as Montoursville (8-3) won their third straight game and scored at least one point in all five innings .
“It was awesome. I couldn’t be happier, “ Llorente said. “We really feel at home. I love everyone here. “
This feeling is mutual.
Llorente quickly made friends and was welcomed with open arms into the Montoursville baseball family. Watching him interact, you’d never know he’s a first-time warrior who grew up in Florida.
Llorente coming to Montoursville was also a fluke, as the Warriors had a big void to fill. The junior right-hander delivered in every outing, allowing no more than three points in a start. This week, he gave up just three hits and no earned runs as Montoursville regained his early season momentum.
“Anytime you have a kid who can come and help you, the kids revolve around that. He’s a laid back, down-to-earth kid, ” Montoursville coach Jeremy Eck said. “I was more worried about him going into this environment in terms of these conditions and weather conditions.”
The first time Montoursville trained this season there was snow, but Llorente threw a t-shirt away. Snow, sun, rain… whatever the weather, Llorente can handle it and he was brilliant against Jersey Shore (3-7). Skillfully locating his fastball in the turns and leaving Jersey Shore guessing with some excellent off-speed throws, Llorente pitched 3 2/3 innings without a hitting, never letting a runner reach third base and struck out seven.
Llorente walked two but went to the three-ball count another time. He threw an efficient 59 throws and ended his performance by striking out the Jersey Shore six times in the fifth inning. This included Llorente hitting his last batter on three pitches.
“I wanted it so badly today. I felt really good, ” Llorente said. “My speed was there and I was able to spot my fastball. It was difficult at times (with the weather) and it took a few shots to get wild. I just had to adapt.
“We were wondering what we were going to do with the pitching and it went up huge,” Llorente said. “The kids really love him. He’s home now. He is happy and we are happy to have him.
That doubled as Llorente set the tone and hit a two-out first-inning RBI single. CJ Signor was hit by a pitch two hitters later, closing the rally with two points. Montoursville again delivered with two strikeouts in the second inning when Maddix Dalena (2 for 2) burned a two-run single and made it 4-0. The two-out keys continued to come in an inning later as Grayson Rinker went 5-0 and smacked a brace in swirling winds into the center-right sideline as the rain started to fall hard.
Montoursville scored seven of his 10 points with two strikeouts and Dylan Moll hit an RBI single in the fourth inning before Signor settled in for a long sacrifice attempt after the winds likely blew what would have been a home run of 2 points.
“We talk about this stuff all the time, especially the two-shot approach,” Eck said. “I’m extremely happy that these guys are finding a way to do this.”
Rinker is having a great second season. He was throwing well early in the season and is now setting himself up as an offensive threat. Rinker went 2 for 2 and drew an RBI walk after beating back 1-2 and fouling three pitches. Rinker was also involved in the rally in the second round, hitting a starting single and scoring on Dalena’s two-run single.
“He loves the game and he plays the game the right way,” Eck said. “Whatever you ask, he just does it. It’s fantastic.”
Kooper Peacock broke Llorente’s smoothness when he hit a two-out single, fourth inning. Cayden Hess gave Peacock a chance to deliver the blow when he fought 0-2 and drew. Connor Griffin tried to start a second inning rally when he walked and stole the second, but Llorente blocked him there with a three-pitch strikeout.
Jersey Coast 000 00–0 1 1
Montoursville 221 41–10 7 0
Tyler Bauder, Nate Myers and Zach Hinds. AJ Llorente and CJ Signor. W – Llorente, (5-0). L – Bauder.
Jersey Shore’s best hitters: Kooper Peacock 1-2. Montoursville’s best hitters: Maddix Dalena 2-2, BB, 2 RBI, 2 RBI; Grayson Rinker 2-2, 2G, RBI, race; Llorente 1-3, BB, 2 RBIs, race; Dylan Moll 1-1, BB, RBI, racing; Josh Burger 1-3, BB, 2 races; Signor 2 RBI.