A Keith Rogalla start typically offers an emotional roller coaster of sorts, with the consistent chugging upwards to the initial descent, followed by the thrilling and mind numbing twists and turns to accompany the ride. His power and lack of command made him a folk hero in the past as he’d blow by some hitters and completely lose the strike zone with others.
Keith Rogalla is a new man this year, offering a touch more command with the same power but now features a 12-6 baby curve that touches the letters at its climax and ends dick-high as it crosses over the plate.
In the first inning he was golden, getting the first batter to watch third strike while allowing the next two to fly out to center field.
The Jays threatened in the bottom half, with Clark Brinkman leading things off by acquiring a meat unit but inevitably getting picked off after falling asleep at first. Isaac Collins followed this with a walk, which was unsurprising since UC Davis starter Matt Blais had walked 14 in 14.2 innings pitched, and Collins swiped second with the first opportunity he got. He proceeded to third after a groundout to the left side by Tommy Luevano, yet was stranded after Michael Emodi grounded out to third base.
In the top of the second the UC Davis offense managed to rough up Rogalla a bit, singling three times in the inning and driving in a run. The inning was laboring for Rogalla, as he had to throw 25+ pitches in the frame, but came out of it relatively unscathed.
Rogalla featured similar troubles in the top of the third, yet it was his defense that failed him miserably. Rogalla got a fly out and a strike out to start things off, but on a 3-2 count UC Davis’s Ryan Anderson slapped a grounder to Tommy Luevano, who proceeded to boot it and airmailed a throw to first base. Anderson ended up on on second and just three pitches later a UC Davis dong graced the right field bleachers, putting the Aggies up 3-0.
Creighton’s offense finally began churning in the bottom half of the third with Jason Allbery and Ben ‘Meat Locker’ Reznicek hitting back-to-back singles. Clark Brinkman then bunted the two into scoring position.
This left Isaac Collins at the dish to drive in a run, which he did on a hard chopper back to the pitcher that bounded off his glove and ended up between the short stop’s feet.
3-1 UC Davis.
Tommy Luevano was due up next, yet he grounded into a double play to end the rally.
The scoring held off while Keith Rogalla began to cruise, going the next 3 innings allowing just two hits, while the Jays remained inept at the plate during that same timespan.
Until the 6th.
UC Davis’s Matt Blais began to labor, leaving pitches out over the plate, and Isaac Collins was the first to capitalize by singling to the left side and eventually stole second. Tommy Luevano singled to the third baseman, who booted the ball, and the Jays were in business with just one out.
Enter: Michael ‘Dongatron’ Emodi.
On a 1-2 count, Emodi bombed a ball into the left center gap, falling just short of the left fielder’s glove, as the ball bounded up the wall. Collins wheeled around and score from second, Luevano ending his journey on third while Emodi was credited with a double.
Enter: the worst fucking baserunning I’ve ever seen.
UC Davis brought in pitcher Chris Brown to toss the pearl by Bryce Only. Only slapped a ball right to the first baseman, logging an out. Play should be over, the next batter should be in the box, and baseball should resume.
Unfortunately it wasn’t so simple.
Luevano never broke home, a smart move since the first baseman had an easy throw to the dish. Emodi broke to third for some fucking reason.
Realizing the pickle he was in, Emodi managed to bait the first baseman into running over to him to make the tag out, so Emodi began toying with him and got halfway between second and third, shuffling occasionally towards third, while Luevano, during this poor decision making, decided to sprint home.
The first baseman never noticed. his eyes were on Emodi the entire time.
Emodi continued to shuffle towards third and, just a few feet from the bag, damn near in arm’s reach, dropped down and accepted his fate as being a dead duck. It was maddening, since he started the pickle, but he could’ve been a hero by simply diving for third base. Perhaps he believed it was still occupied? Perhaps he went into shock? Perhaps he’s just not a great baserunner? Who knows.
Ryan Tapani took over for Keith Rogalla in the top of the 7th and proceeded to get three quick outs. He was fair and balanced in his attack, striking one guy out while getting the other two to fly out and ground out.
With two outs in the bottom of the 7th, Jason Allbery singled to right, followed by a Ben ‘Meat Locker’ Reznicek walk. This gave Clark Brinkman an opportunity to play hero.
He didn’t disappoint.
Brinkman singled through the left side, Allberry flying around third and scoring with ease, while the Meat Locker took second.
Tie game. 3-3.
The Meat Locker would eventually take third on a pass ball, but Isaac Collins would ground out to first to end the inning.
Enter: Dave Gerber.
Dave Gerber is an enigmatic pitcher, tossing cookies at 78-83mph, yet uses an arm slot that completely mind fucks opposing batters. He utilizes precision accuracy and isn’t one to get shaken up too easily. He’s an absolute nightmare after facing pitchers like Rogalla or Tapani.
He proceeded to strike out the side, with the first strikeout resulting in the batter attempting to break an aluminum bat over his knee in utter frustration.
To start off the bottom of the 8th, sophomore short stop Tommy Luevano hung a massive, gorgeous, game leading dong to left field, a shot that was absolutely lazered off his bat, a shot that would’ve registered at 115mph on statcast, the kind of dong that would’ve made your dad cry. It was majestic and true, just what the doctor ordered.
Dave Gerber, already with 3 K’s, would finish the game with 6. The UC Davis batters were out there swinging garden hoses trying to time up Gerber who was painting the corners with a delicate touch. It was absolutely, positively, masterful.
The Jays improve to 7-12 on the year, winning 5 of their last 7, and will potentially play Air Force Wednesday night (weather permitting, it’s supposed to rain like a motherfucker tomorrow).