Winless in eight pitching appearances this season, Mira Mesa High senior Trey Lomax couldn’t have picked a better time to earn his first victory of the season.
The left-hander allowed six hits, struck out seven and worked out of three jams, leading the No. 8-seeded Marauders to an 8-1 win over Ramona in a San Diego Section Division I play-in game Tuesday.
The victory moved Mira Mesa (18-13) into the double-elimination round starting today at No. 1 Carlsbad (23-6).
Ramona’s season ends at 18-11.
“We finally got Trey some runs,” Mira Mesa coach Ben Rosenthal said of Lomax, who was 0-2 with a 0.97 ERA in 29 innings. “The kid is tough. He competes his backside off.”
Lomax is headed to San Diego State on a football scholarship, but hopes to play football and baseball for the Aztecs in his second year.
He had to call on his football mentality to work out of a bases-loaded two-out jam in the third inning, a bases-loaded one-out jam in the fourth and a first-and-third two-out situation in the sixth.
In the third, Lomax got a ground ball to second to wiggle out of trouble. In the fourth, his middle infielders turned an inning-ending double play. And in the sixth, he got a strikeout to keep Ramona at bay.
“We have a senior-dominated team that plays great defense,” Lomax said. “I’m confident that if I can get a ground ball, they’ll make a play.
“When I got in trouble, I wanted to keep the ball down. I didn’t necessarily need a strikeout. I needed to get out of the jam. And that double play was huge. It was a huge momentum swing.”
After holding Ramona off in the fourth, Mira Mesa came back and scored four runs, two on Lomax’s two-out single.
The Marauders put the game away with two more runs in the fifth as Ramona made three errors.
“Honestly, at the start of the season, no one would have thought Trey Lomax would be starting the first game of the playoffs for us,” Rosenthal said. “But he’s tough. He’s durable. He has grown into a leader on our ballclub.
“And he certainly ignites our offense.”
Lomax also singled to start the bottom of the first for Mira Mesa and scored on Matt Reitano’s RBI single.
Michael Bingham had an RBI single in the second for the Marauders and Zak Ollila drove in two.
“We had chances, we just didn’t get it done,” said Ramona coach Dean Welch. “We put the bat on the ball, but so did they. Their balls found holes while ours found gloves.
“It’s too bad it had to end this away because this was a great group to work with, a group that made the season a lot of fun.”