TIGERS TOP VETS 5-0; ROMAN RULES w/12K’s in COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUT
If you happened to be in or around the Cabaniss Sports Complex Tuesday evening then, for the sake of your parking sanity, I hope it was for a swim.
There were many events taking place with boys’ and girls’ soccer (*football) championships and middle school track and field taking place, to name a few, but the hot ticket in town was a battle between two ball clubs -- undefeated in district play -- as the streaky Carroll Tigers played host to Veterans Memorial Eagles. This was the first game of a two-game series with district championship stakes.
It was a pitchers’ duel from the jump as both ball clubs went without a run scored until the 5th. The low scoring game worked in direct contrast with both teams’ offensive output in district play. The two teams came into the contest with 79 combined runs, and, yet, both Vets (30) and Carroll (49) surrendered just 4 runs apiece in four district games.
Michael Krall (#22) toed the rubber for the Eagles, and he pitched himself out of a couple jams with the help of some great plays from the defense including a diving catch from 1st baseman Aiden Scott (#14).
The performance of the night, however, came from the Tigers’ Richie Roman (#16) who pitched a complete game shutout. Surrendering only 3 hits, Roman was able to rack up 12 strikeouts -- a career high for Roman -- in his 7 innings of work.
Roman was dominant as well as daunting on the mound with the bill of his cap casting a shadow over his face and his long hair adding an element of intimidation to go along with his tall stature. But it was his hard breaking off-speed pitches that paired well with the strong velocity on his fastball that put the stamp on his brand of pitching.
“I just executed the gameplan and it worked well for us,” Roman told MICSPORTSNETWORK. “I feel like I’m a pretty intimidating pitcher, so I just go out there and try my hardest by going out there and throwing strikes.
“I’m confident on the mound because I have confidence that we have the best fielding in the state.”
The Tigers’ right-handed hurler got some timely double plays, but his own catcher, #12 Dae Palomo, would put the first run on the board with an infield single RBI in the bottom of the 5th.
It came after the Tigers had ended multiple innings with runners on, and Palomo came up with two outs and runners on second and third base. Palomo would hit a ball deep into the hole and Vets SS Damon Hernandez (#6) had to field it perfectly just to make it close, which he did, but a perfect headfirst slide into first base beat the throw.
The Tigers would open the scoring up even further that inning with a bases clearing triple from 1st baseman Jake Cruz (#24)—bringing the score to 4-0. After adding another run in the top of the 6th, Roman would close it out with a final score of 5-0.
“We had a lot of traffic early, a lot of chances to score early, but their pitcher got the job done,” Tigers’ Head Coach David Marsello said after the game. “The way Ritchie was throwing, if you get 1 or 2, we feel confident it’ll get the job done because he was so dominant tonight.”
Coach Marsello confirmed that EJ Cantu will start the second game in the series. Cantu has been the ‘Friday night pitcher’ for the Tigers since the start of district play and the entire coaching staff has a lot of confidence in him.
“EJ Cantu will get the ball Friday, and we’ve got an army of dudes who have thrown a lot of pitches in quality games. This is what 29-5A is all about, a well-coached Vets team and they’re always the big dog on the block, but we’re going to be ready no matter how you slice it.”
The Eagles will get a chance to run it back with the Tigers on Friday at 5:30pm. You can watch the game live on micsportsnetwork.com.