Nitros Done in By Apaches
Using a tried-and-true baseball formula, the Arcadia High team employed terrific pitching and stellar defense to subdue Glendale, 11-1, last Friday afternoon in a Pacific League game.
The Apaches also found time to slap out 10 hits, while limiting the Nitros to three. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Arcadia (11-0 and 4-0 in league) came out and scored seven runs in the first inning against sophomore left-handed pitcher Zack Fields, who worked into the third inning, but was able to retire only two batters.
Three of the first four hitters reached base with walks, and Garret Tuck drove in a pair with a double to right-center. Fields then hit Tim Smoley, and walked Mike Nigolian, which made it 3-0.
“Pitching and defense is how we win,” said Arcadia Head Coach Nick Lemas. The Apaches have long been one of Southern California’s premier programs, and own a long and rich history.
“We’re always shooting for a championship,’’ said Lemas. “It’s important that we uphold the tradition of a storied program like Arcadia.”
The Apaches have been ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division II, and are currently ranked No. 7.
The first inning continued with Josh Natham’s two-run single to left. Haram Park singled, and David Huntzinger slashed a two-run double to left that made it 7-0.
In the next inning, Smoley drove a high fastball from Fields over the right-center field fence for a homer that put the visiting Apaches in front 8-0.
Park was the winning pitcher and went three solid innings, allowing three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk. Allen Kim came in to begin the fourth inning, and fanned five batters with no walks.
Arcadia added two runs in the fourth when Dan Hernandez doubled to left with one out, and scored after Jon Tom singled to left.
Jon Larson reached base on a force out, advanced to second when Pat Carroll walked, and scored on Phil Anderson’s single to left.
Arcadia tacked on a run in the third inning, and was aided by an error. Larson walked, went to second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball, and scored on an error.
Glendale (4-5 and 1-3 in league) scored its only run in the first inning when Fields singled up the middle off Park (2-0), driving in Ian Conover, who was safe on an error, and went to second on a ground out.
Nitros Head Coach Jon Keefer was reluctant to take Fields out after a rough first inning. “We’re very thin on pitching, and he wasn’t getting hit that hard,” he said. “There were a lot of bloop hits, and his control wasn’t that bad. He was just missing.”
Meeting every challenge, and coming away smelling like a rose, the Apaches’ barometer now will have to be the playoffs. Depending on how they fare, this season could be something truly special.