East County Sports

Major achievement in Pats’ sixth shutout



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

UNIVERSITY CITY — Christian Patriots junior Vaughn Major, co,coming what was arguably his poorest pitching performance of the season , bounced back with his best effort.

Major struck out 10 University City batters without issuing a walk, firing a complete-game, 2-hit shutout at the host Centurions in Wednesday’s (Apr. 27) Western League romp.

The shutout was the sixth by the Patriots pitching staff this season. matching the total by the historic 2015 Christian ballclub which posted a remarkable 29-2 record.

Major has been a hard-luck pitcher all season, on the mound for four of Christian’s five losses, all but one due to unearned runs. However, his poorest outing came in last week’s victory over Cathedral Catholic after allowing five runs in as many innings.

Somehow, Major knew his luck was changing.

The complete opposite was drew is stopping the Centurions, only allowing a leadoff single on the first batter he faced, eventually retiring 12 straight batters.

His only “difficult” inning was in the fifth when University City  placed the first two batters on base on an error and a single. However, a batsman loaded the bases, but Major cashed out the Cents by coaxing an unorthodox, inning-ending, double play grounder.

A roller was collected by first baseman Hunter Kaul, who tapped the bag for the first out, then fired home to catcher Xavier Farnum for a tag out to keep the shutout bid alive.

Major then turned away the final six batters, including all three on strikes in the seventh.

The Patriots offense tallied two runs in almost every other inning — the first, third, fifth and sixth.

Kaul singled in the opening marker, then Ashton McCurty stole home for a 2-0 lead.

In the third, Farnum lined an RBI double to left, then scored on another Kaul basehit.

Shane Bailey and McCurty belted consecutive lead doubles for a 5-0 lead in the fifth, with McCurty stealing third and coming home on a Farnum sacrifice fly.

Finally, a string of five runners reached on walks or singles, included a base-loaded base-on-balls to Farnum , then Kaul collected his third RBI with a single.

For Christian (15-5 overall, 4-1 league), Kaul batted 4-for-4 with three RBI.

University City (6-15, 2-3 league) received hits from center fielder Troy Granfors and shortstop Jack Siironen, dropping to fourth place.

In the Eastern League, the Coronado Islander defeating visiting Clairemont, 5-2, in the other Eastern League contest held on the Silver Strand.

Coronado (12-11 overall, 4-4 league) elevated into third place, while the Chieftains (5-18-1, 1-7 league) remain fifth and were mathematically eliminated from title consideration.

Meanwhile, Patrick Henry, which had a league bye date, played a non-league contest against visiting Bonita Vista. The Patriots scored once in the sixth, then two more in the seventh to walk-off the Barons, 7-6.

Patriots junior Brady Hull batted 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, while sophomore Talin Gardini added two hits for Patrick Henry (16-6 overall, 5-1 league). Henry’s league lead dropped to a half-game, with Christian able topull even when hosting University City on Friday.

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