There was that darn center-field fence again, trying to look all tough and ominous from 380 feet away.
It was just waiting for that ball that Derek Jordan clobbered Saturday morning, staring it down as it approached with its nasty, evil eye.
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You see, the fence and Jordan don't have the best of relationships, even though they both represent Carmel.
"That center-field fence and I go back a long way," said Jordan, a right fielder for the Corsairs. "It's my arch enemy out there. It likes to get me. I'm telling you, it's weird."
Jordan says that Carmel's center-field fence has robbed him of some homers over the course of his career. He feared that the shot he rifled in that direction during the first game of a doubleheader against visiting Joliet Catholic would fall victim to the same fate.
"I like hitting the ball right at the center-field fence, but I've had a lot of them that have hit off the top half of the fence," Jordan said. "Earlier this year, I had one hit the bottom part.
"When I hit the one today, I knew I got all of it but I didn't think the trajectory was right. I was like, 'Come on, come on. Get over.' "
To the fence's chagrin, it did get over and Jordan had himself a 3-run homer in a big sixth inning for Carmel that keyed a 9-5 victory in the first game. The Corsairs went on to win again in the second game 11-5 thanks to yet another homer by Jordan - which ironically enough, was almost a carbon copy of the first: a shot to center.
Take that, Mr. Nasty Center-field Fence.
With the victories, Carmel improved to 8-3 on the season, while Joliet Catholic dropped to 4-8.
"Derek was actually in a bit of a (hitting) funk (prior to the doubleheader)," Carmel coach Joe May said. "But he broke right out of it. He got all of that (pitch)."
Jordan wasn't the only one to do so in that sixth inning.
The Corsairs, who had managed just 2 hits off of Joliet Catholic starter Kendall Paluch over the previous four innings, rolled up 5 hits in the sixth inning alone.
"It looked like they made some adjustments at the plate," Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss said of Carmel's hitters. "Carmel is always a good team. (Paluch) was strong, until it mattered."
Carmel's game-cinching barrage in the sixth, also highlighted by a 2-run homer to right field by pinch hitter Connor Fitzgerald, brought in a total of 6 runs, which flipped a 2-run deficit (5-3) into a 4-run lead (9-5).
"I was very happy," Fitzgerald said of his homer. "(The count) was 2-0 so I knew I was going to see a good pitch.
"Before the game, I was saying that I was going to get a single to right field. It turns out that I got a home run so, I'll take it."
Meanwhile, Carmel senior pitcher Jonathan Huisel took away 2 wins on the day.
He replaced starter Paul Poirier in the first game with two outs and two on in the sixth inning. He retired the side without allowing a run and recorded 2 strikeouts in the seventh to ice the victory.
Huisel was also used in relief in the second game.
He came in with one out in the second and pitched through the sixth inning. The second victory pushed his record on the mound to 3-0 this season.
"Jonathan had a great day," May said. "He's a surgeon on the mound. He throws with such precision and he can throw three pitches wherever he wants to. He really keeps hitters off-balance."
There was nothing off about Carmel's hitters in the second game.
The Corsairs rolled up 16 hits overall and slammed 3 home runs and a double.
In addition to Jordan, both Kyle Bessa and Chris DiVarco knocked one out of the park. DiVarco, who also had Carmel's double, wound up going 3-for-3 on the game and 6-for-6 on the day. He also had a double in the first game.