TAMPA — Jesuit pitcher Ronnie Ramirez posted a 0.00 ERA as a reliever last season, winning three games and earning four saves, giving Tigers coach Richie Warren a lot of confidence in the junior Florida State commitment.
So much so that Warren put Ramirez in some tough spots, and this year it has translated into a pair of blemishes on his record in relief losses to Tampa Catholic and Venice.
“Ronnie has No. 1 stuff, a top-of-the-line rotation guy,” Warren said. “Everyone sees he has two losses, but I’ve put him in some pretty terrible spots, each time bases loaded with nobody out, but we know what he’s capable of, and that’s shutting a good team down for seven innings.”
Ramirez now finds himself at the top of the Tigers’ rotation, and in two starts he has earned two victories, including Wednesday’s 5-3 eight-inning win against district opponent Robinson. Ramirez allowed two earned runs over seven innings, striking out nine as Jesuit (13-2) improved to 4-0 in Class 5A-District 9.
“Robinson always comes ready to play with a good game plan for us,” Ramirez said. “Obviously, I knew this would be tough, and I give them a lot of credit.”
Robinson scored in the fourth when junior Darius Autry hit his first high-school home run. Knights starter Patrick Kiszla started well, striking out six, but Jesuit’s offense got things going in the sixth as Danny Lastra, Adam Weekley and Nick Ortega each singled in runs.
Robinson answered in the bottom half on a TJ Cole two-run double to push things to extra innings.
After Weekley doubled to lead off the eighth, Jacob Mocny drove the deciding run in with a single and Steven Lugo added an insurance run, allowing Joe Epstein to earn the save.
It was Jesuit's first game since it became public that nine players were suspended due to unspecified violations.