On fire. In a groove. Couldn’t miss with his eyes closed. Any superlative you can come up with, this week it applied to Jeremiah Fielder.
Three days after throwing a complete game win and going 4 for 4 with two home runs and two doubles earlier this week, the St. Mary’s senior had another banner day on Friday, going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a triple and five RBI against St. Joseph, leading the Panthers to a 11-1 win.
“I’ve never hit like this before in my life,” Fielder said after Friday’s fireworks. “I usually hit line drives, but I’ve been working on my mechanics and added some power.”
Fielder’s coach agreed with him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player on a run like he’s on,” St. Mary’s head coach Andy Shimabukuro said. “The last two games are probably the best he could have had.”
Even when Fielder made his only out of the week on Friday, it was a sacrifice fly that brought home a run. Add that to bases-loaded doubles in the fourth and fifth innings, a ringing triple in the first, and two nice plays in the field, and you’ve got a dominating performance. And it could have been even better: Fielder’s first double on Friday went under the outfield fence, and would have been at least a triple and scored an extra run.
The only thing that rivaled Fielder’s feats was a titanic home run by right fielder Chase Moore in the fifth inning. The two-run blast cleared the left field fence by a good 20 feet, and was part of a five-run inning that put the Panthers (13-9 overall, 7-2 BSAL) out of reach. They tacked the final run on in the bottom of the sixth to invoke the 10-run rule and send the crowd home early.
St. Mary’s starter Anthony Miyawaki started shakily, giving up a leadoff single to Victor Ramirez. St. Joseph right fielder John Barber followed by pounding a ball into right-center, scoring Ramirez. But Barber was gunned down at third trying for a triple, and Miyawaki settled down, going the distance and giving up just three more hits, walking none and striking out nine Pilots.
The Panthers pulled even in the bottom of the first when Joe Starkey brought in Fielder with a sacrifice fly, and scored two more in the next inning on an RBI single by catcher Marcus Johnson and Fielder’s sacrifice fly.
While Miyawaki stifled the Pilots, St. Joseph (3-6 BSAL) starter Chad Freitas was in trouble from the start, as the Panthers scored in every inning but one. But after Fielder’s first bases-loaded double in the fourth, which ended Freitas’ day on the mound, the Panthers ran themselves out of the inning. Omar Young was thrown out trying to score on a routine ground ball, and Fielder fell asleep on a double steal and was caught in a rundown between third base and home to end the inning.
But the Panthers batted around on reliever Allan Soohoo in the fifth, with the help of two Pilot errors, and the game was no longer in doubt.