With most teams throwing their aces on the first day of the tournament, runs were a precious commodity in the first round of the Hard 9 National Classic in Fullerton, Calif. And in no game was that more evident than Monday's matchup between IMG Academies (Bradenton, Fla.)
and Sunrise Mountain (Peoria, Ariz.)
Arizona-bound Tyler Crawford
had a strong outing for Sunrise Mountain as he allowed just four hits to IMG. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, one of those hits was a solo home run by Charles Sheffield
in the first inning. The one run held up and allowed IMG to pull out the 1-0 win despite eight strikeouts by Crawford.
Arizona State-bound pitcher Brandon Bonilla
, son of former MLB All-Star Bobby Bonilla, was even better for IMG Academies. The 6-foot-2 lefthander, who pitched out of the stretch the entire game, had a perfect game through three innings and a no-hitter through five. He also had seven strikeouts in the first six innings before it nearly all fell apart in the final frame.
"You really find out how good a pitcher is when runners get on base," said IMG coach Kevin Sharp. "Brandon plays a real cerebral game, so when they got a couple of guys on base, he really re-focused."
Bonilla gave up a bad-hop single to start the inning, but he struck out the next batter for the first out. A hit-and-run play put runners at first and third, however Bonilla settled down and struck out the next two batters to end the game.
"Brandon had his coming-out party last year at this tournament," said Sharp. "He's sort of been a hard-luck pitcher this year because we haven't always given him the run support, but he's got that edge. He's definitely one of the top lefthanders in the state of Florida."Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.) 3, Chatsworth (Calif.) 1
With the bases loaded and only one out, Clovis West coach Kevin Patrick sent his pitching coach out to talk to pitcher Tyler Ferguson
. He had no intention of taking his ace out of the game.
"He's our best guy and his pitch count was still low, so we weren't going to take him out," said Patrick. "Of course it would have been a lot easier if we weren't facing their top two hitters."
Ferguson had been sailing along through six innings, striking out 12 batters prior to the seventh inning while allowing only five Chancellor baserunners. However Chatsworth got a walk and three straight base hits to score a run and bring up its top returning hitter from last year in Steven Karkenny
The senior appeared to have the hit the Chancellors needed as he lashed a shot down the left field line. However the ball landed foul for strike two. Ferguson struck out Karkenny on the next pitch for the second out of the inning.
All that meant was that Ferguson had to face Pepperdine-bound Aaron Brown
. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior pounded a ball that looked like it might make it to the gap in left-centerfield. However Clovis West's John Koretoff
made a diving catch at the base of the outfield fence to end the game.
"We were fortunate to have that ball find John's mitt," said Patrick. "John plays a lot of different positions for us, but he's a four-year starter and does a great job."
Clovis West scored a single run in the third inning without the benefit of a base hit. Three walks and a fielder's choice loaded the bases for Nick McAllaster
. He also grounded into a fielder's choice, but it was enough to score Trevor Crough
with the first run of the game.
In the fifth, Clovis West put two more runs on the board. Ferguson helped himself out with a two-run single to centerfield.Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.) 4, Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.) 1
A pair of errors helped Chaminade score three runs in the fourth inning and advance to the second round with a 4-1 win over the Warriors on Monday at Esperanza.
With the score tied at 1-1, Chaminade's Michael Dingilian
, had homered in the first inning, walked and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw at first base.Cole Rutherford
singled home Dingilian to break the tie, but he was picked off base for the first out of the inning. A pair of walks and a strikeout put two runners on with two outs. Brandon Rapoport's
grounder to shortstop appeared to be an inning-ending play, but Valley Christian tried to get the lead runner out at third base. An error on the throw allowed Jason D'Andrea
to score and put Jimmy Jauregue
at third base.Dylan Delaney
followed with a basehit to plate D'Andrea for the final run of the inning.
Valley Christian scored its only run in the fourth on an RBI double by Bryant Park
. The Warriors managed just three hits off of Chaminade starter Mathew Troupe
, who struck out 10 in seven innings for the win.Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) 5, El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.) 4
The host Hawks were unable to duplicate the magic of the 2010 season when they advanced all the way to the championship game, as they lost to Bingham 5-4 in the opening round Monday at CSU Fullerton.
Bingham scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to overcome a 3-2 deficit. Matt Cluff
had an RBI double in the fourth inning, Connor Williams
tripled and scored in the fifth and Stefan Cantwell
doubled home a run in the sixth to spark the Miner comeback.Dylan Moore
had three hits and Trevor Velez
had a pair of singles to lead El Dorado's offense.Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 3, Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) 1
The host Aztecs used three straight bunts to break a 0-0 tie and scored the runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to claim a 3-1 win over the Purple Wave in the final game Monday at CSU Fullerton.Mitch Christensen
got the rally going when he singled to lead off the inning. Matt Sinclair
laid down a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, but Christian Brothers pitcher Michael Gunn
hurried his throw to first and the ball got past the first baseman, allowing Christensen to run to third.Ryan McCall
followed with a perfect bunt in the same spot as Sinclair, scoring Christensen with the first run of the game. Mitchell Mosman
sacrificed the runners to second and third with a third straight bunt down the first base line.
An intentional walk to leadoff batter Nick Catalano
loaded the bases and created a force at any base. The Aztecs attempted a suicide squeeze, but Ryan Cooper
was unable to lay down the bunt and the Christian Brothers catcher tagged out Sinclair for the second out of the inning.
Cooper made up for the mistake on the next pitch, however, when he lashed a single to right field to bring home two runs.
Esperanza starter Brad Anderson
threw six innings of shutout ball, but he gave up a walk with one out in the seventh and then balked the runner all the way to third base. A basehit by Purple Wave pinch hitter Grant House
ended the night for Anderson, who struck out seven batters on the night. Anderson gave way to submariner pitcher Chris Connors
, who struck out two batters to end the game.
Gunn had two doubles to lead the Purple Wave hitting attack. McCall was 2-for-3 for the Aztecs.
In other first-round games, St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.)
defeated Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
, 13-3, El Capitan (Lakeside, Calif.)
edged Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.)
, 3-1, and Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.)
held off Cypress (Calif.)
In today's games, Sunrise Mountain takes on Valley Christian at 10 a.m. at Esperanza while IMG Academies meets Chaminade at 10 a.m. at El Dorado. Chatsworth will take on Christian Brothers at 1 p.m. at Esperanza and El Dorado will meet Alemany at 1 p.m. at El Dorado. Notre Dame Prep tangles with Cypress at 2 p.m. at Cypress, St. Francis takes on Bishop Amat at 4 p.m. at El Dorado and Esperanza battles Clovis West at 4 p.m. at Esperanza. The final game of the day is at 7 p.m. between Bingham and El Capitan at CSU Fullerton.