Bishop Gorman’s baseball team has become accustomed to Cody Roper doing a bit of everything.
It was more of the same as the Titans opened the American Legion Western Regional in Fairfield, Calif.
Roper struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings to get the win, and drove in three runs to lead Gorman to a 10-7 victory over Tucson (Ariz.) on Thursday in the opening round of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
Roper, who will be a senior right-hander at Gorman next season, allowed four runs, two earned, on two hits and four walks.
“He did a good job and kept their hitters off balance the first four innings, and it was enough for us to get a win,” Gorman coach Nick Day said. “He’s been huge on the mound, our No. 1 guy all summer.”
The Titans started fast, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings to take a 6-0 lead. Roper’s two-run double capped the scoring in the first.
Though glad to open the tournament on the right foot, Day was disappointed to see his team commit four errors, leading to three unearned runs.
“It feels good to start with a win, but it wasn’t very pretty,” he said. “We got complacent and lost a lot of focus after the 6-0 lead. It was an early-morning game, but it’s important for them to know they can’t lose focus. They should be rested and better focused tomorrow.”
Gorman (43-8-1) will play League City (Texas) at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The tournament runs through Monday.
Johnny Sewald went 3-for-3 with three runs and two stolen bases for Gorman, and Erik Van Meetren and Kenny Meimerstorf added two hits apiece. Van Meetren and Tyler Baker each had two RBIs.
Day said the Titans will play the regional without top hitter Joey Gallo, who has accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. The games begin Friday.