By Steve Breazeale
Behind the efforts of sophomore left-handed pitcher Kolby Allard and the bat of senior leadoff man Dan Caresio, the San Clemente baseball team evened their league record with a 3-1 win over San Juan Hills on March 20.
Caresio led the game off with a single up the middle and scored on an RBI single by senior Cody Maples, giving Allard a one-run cushion to work with before he even stepped on the mound.
Allard, who improved his record to 3-0 with the win, established his fastball early, retiring six of the first seven Stallions (3-6, 0-1 league) batters he faced. Allard would go six innings in the game, fanning six batters by way of strikeout and allowing only one walk. He also hit a Stallions batter but struck out the next hitter to get out of the inning.
Caresio struck again in the top of the third, showing off his power swing by planting an offering from San Juan Hills senior starter Evanne Wilkes over the right field fence for a solo home run to give the Tritons (8-3, 1-1) a 2-0 lead.
“For (Caresio) to lead off with a hit and get that first run early and then get that home run that was huge,” San Clemente head coach Dave Gellatly said. “So (Caresio) was obviously a great catalyst in getting us started.”
The Stallions responded to Caresio’s big hit by manufacturing a run in the bottom of the third inning. After junior outfielder Colton Plourde reached first on a fielder’s choice, he advanced on a Triton throwing error and another fielder’s choice, finding himself at third base. An Allard wild pitch brought him home, narrowing things to 2-1.
With the Tritons threatening to score again in the top of the fourth inning with runners on first and third and one out, Stallions senior right fielder Alex Larson corralled a fly ball and threw out the Triton runner attempting to score after the catch was made to complete the double play, ending the threat.
After the Stallions one run, Allard settled down, retiring three consecutive batters in both the fourth and six innings.
“(Allard) pitched well tonight and pretty much shut it down,” Gellatly said.
The Tritons would tack on one more run in the top of the seventh after sophomore Trevor Beard reached on an error and junior shortstop Kent Burckle singled him home.
The loss was the Stallions first in-league and they now prepare for a March 22 games against Dana Hills. The Tritons have five days off before returning against Dana Hills on March 26.