The second-inning hit from Stuart Hall junior outfielder Alex Asadorian looked normal enough, as the line drive past Sacred Heart Cathedral first baseman Patrick Murphy fell into right field.
But it would end up being the only hit for Stuart Hall, as Sacred Heart junior right-hander Chris Miguel locked down the Knights the rest of the way in a 5-0 Irish win in the Dick Murray Tournament championship game on Wednesday at Westborough Park.
“That one hit. I didn’t want to give up a hit early, because I wanted to see if I could pull it off,” Miguel said. “My confidence went down, but I kept telling myself, ‘Don’t give up,’ and we got the win.”
Miguel struck out 10 and allowed just four baserunners in the complete-game shutout and hasn’t allowed a run in 14²?³ innings pitched this season.
“It’s no secret that he’s our horse on the mound,” Sacred Heart coach Brian Morgan said. “He pitched OK his first couple times out, but today I thought he was just outstanding. He really pitched today, he wasn’t trying to blow guys away.”
The Irish (5-0) gave Miguel a cushion by scoring four runs in the second inning, then added a run on a sacrifice fly from senior Chandler Williams in the sixth.
Although Miguel’s only allowed hit came in the second inning, he got himself into some trouble in the sixth.
With one out, Miguel hit Stuart Hall senior Connor Bottom, then allowed freshman Garald Reader to reach on his own error, when he bobbled what should have been a sacrifice bunt. Then, after a wild pitch sent the runners to second and third, Miguel got Ben Carasco to pop up and froze T.J. Najera with a nasty breaking ball to end the threat.
“He got them, not by just throwing fastball after fastball. He had to pitch,” Morgan said. “It was impressive, because that was kind of the game after that.”
While the Knights’ (2-3) bats were silent for most of the game, they got a solid pitching performance of their own from the sophomore left-hander Carasco.
Other than the second inning, where he allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits, Carasco kept the Irish off balance, striking out four and allowing just five hits in the complete-game loss.
“It was one bad inning,” Stuart Hall coach Eddie Russell said.
For the Irish, who have feasted on relatively weak competition in their nonleague schedule, another nonleague matchup with Cupertino awaits on Saturday before their West Catholic Athletic League opener against rival St. Ignatius in the Bruce-Mahoney game on Tuesday at AT&T Park.
Morgan did not shy away from saying Miguel will have the ball against the Wildcats, an opportunity he relishes.
“Obviously it’s a big game for our school, our community and San Francisco, but we’re just going to play like we have been,” Miguel said. “We’re 5-0 and we’re going to keep it up.”