East County Sports

Braves rout Colts for first win of season

,2018 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (03-20- 2018) – Talk about having a day, the El Cajon Valley Braves came onto the diamond on Tuesday to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with. Let us begin with the fact that pitcher ROBERT VERDUGO pitched a shutout, allowing only one hit against the Crawford Colts – a line drive double to right field in the bottom of the fourth.

“Coming out of the third inning I was just trying to get the win and not focus so much on achieving a no-hitter,” Verdugo said.

The Braves opened up the top of the first inning with JESUS FAVELA being hit by a pitch on a 1-1 count, next on a first pitch strike to SEBASTIAN SANCHEZ, Favela stole second base, then after a second strike swinging for Sanchez, Favela advanced to third on a passed ball. On an 0-2 pitch, Sanchez was hit by a pitch, putting runners at the corners with no outs.

AARON RODRIGUEZ, with an 0-2 count, roped a single to right, but Sanchez was called out for offensive interference, again putting runners at the corners, with 1 out as Favela holds at 3 rd .

Once again with a 1-0 count another Brave was hit by a pitch, as PAULO MICHEL walked to first, so the bases were loaded with only 1 out. Unbelievably, with a 3-0 count, MARIO JACOBS is hit as well, walking in Favela, making it 1-0 Braves. The Braves score another to lead 2-0 on a fielder’s choice hit by Verdugo, with Crawford coming up.

Great way to start for Verdugo, as he retired the side three-up-and-three-down, recording three strikeouts, two looking and one swinging, as the score remains 2-0 with the Braves heading to the plate in the top of the second

On a 3-1 count to KEVIN TY, and yes, there was another hit by pitch, to put the lead runner on first.

Bottom line, the Braves scored five more in the top of the second, with four hits, including an inside the park home run by PAULO MICHEL on a well-hit hit line drive to right, making it 7-0 Braves heading into the bottom of the second.

“Honestly, I’ve had a few bad days,” Michel said. “Today I wanted to forget about that, blow off some steam,and just play ball. I wasn’t thinking of anything else but playing ball. I just hope to stay consistent and continue to play like this, overall just a great team win for us.”

Verdugo recorded three more strikeouts, one looking and two swinging, on 12 pitches, still leaving a 7-0 Braves lead and a no-hitter to boot. El Cajon Valley went on to score two more in the top of the third, as Favela singled to short, Sanchez added a base hit on a pop up to the first baseman, then PAULO MICHEL tripled to center, scoring Favela and
Sanchez, making it 9-0 Braves.

Bottom of the third, with a no-hitter still going for Verdugo, he walked his first batter but stuck out two more batters swinging and the lead man is thrown out at second, so the no-hitter continues with the Braves coming up.

Nine walks, two hit by pitches issued, an error, a fielder’s choice, and no hits, as the Braves added 9 more runs in the top of the fourth to now lead 18-0, heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Verdugo, on the verge of not only gaining the win but a possible no-hitter on the line also, had the first batter strikeout, then the next batter grounded out to second for the second out.

On a 1-2 count, Crawford’s Sanchez hits a double roped to right field, so the no-hitter was officially gone.

The next batter flew out to center, game over, Verdugo gets the win and an 18-0 shutout with one hit.

“ I was just trying to do the best for my team and help out as much as I possibly could,” Verdugo said.

The Braves are now 1-1 and will play Morse at 3″30 on Thursday the 22nd in the GMC Tournament.

“Today we played very well, we were clicking on all cylinders today,” El Cajon Valley head coach CLIFTON THOMAS said “My coach and I made it a point to make sure the boys understood we needed to jump on Crawford early, and we did. That set the tone for the game, which allowed us to play as well as we did. It really helped our pitcher, Robert Verdugo, who was lights out today. This is a great victory for us and we are hoping to take this momentum from this game into our next against Morse. “ Said Head coach Clifton Thomas.

“That set the tone for the game, which allowed us to play as well as we did. It really helped our pitcher, Robert Verdugo, who was lights out today. This is a great victory for us and we are hoping to take this momentum from this game into our next against Morse.”

 

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