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Cardinals take sting out of Bulldog bats

Alhambra sophomore Andrew Costa laces a pinch-hit RBI single in the Bulldogs’ 7-2 loss to Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa on March 21, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra sophomore Andrew Costa laces a pinch-hit RBI single in the Bulldogs’ 7-2 loss to Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa on March 21, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

A week ago, the Bulldogs were able to rally against Albany to get their pitcher off the hook for a rough start. That day the benefactor was Jordyn Eglite.

In Tuesday’s 7-2 loss to Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa, Eglite again was tagged for three runs in the five innings of work. Three of those runs came in the first three innings, before Eglite had settled in.

This time however, the Bulldogs could not get behind their pitcher and rally back to save him from the loss.

Eglite was tagged for a run int he second inning after striking out a pair of Cardinals’ hitters. However his command was off, and a pair of walks yielded the games opening run.

The senior pitcher did escape from the inning, but the Cardinals did more damage in the following inning.

Momentum is an overused term in baseball, but it seems tough to deny it can swing a game. After Cardinal Newman scored their first run, starting pitcher Dante Carvalo gave his team shutdown inning. The junior only needed nine pitches to get his team back to the dish, and they thanked him mightily.

A pair of singles and a bunt set the Cardinals up for a big inning, but they only managed to score a pair of runs despite twice having multiple runners on base.

Eglite did a good job of minimizing the damage as he settled in. He picked up the tempo, and rarely held the ball for more than 15 seconds before making his next pitch.

A quicker tempo seemed to help his off-speed pitches, which looked more devastating after the sped up delivery adjustment.

However the offense was sputtering, and after five innings the Cardinals held 4-0 lead after tacking across their fourth run on a throwing error.

When they finally did spark a small rally it came from off the bench. After a pop fly landed off the bat of Marshall Stanghellini, pinch-hitter Andrew Costa singled to put a runner in scoring position with none out.

The pair were moved over by Spencer Schulhauser, and then eventually knocked in by Garrett Swartz and Trent Greene respectively.

Both men who drove in the runs were stranded, but it was a start for the stagnant offense, which looked punch-less up to that point. A lot of that can be credited to Cavallo, whose short-arm delivery was deceptive enough to keep the Bulldogs off-balance. The junior from Santa Rosa only allowed four hits in his five innings, and started off each inning by getting the leadoff hitter out four of five times. The only time he failed to do so, the Bulldogs scored their two runs.

Neither of the two relievers who came to bridge the gap for the Cardinals allowed a hit. In fact, all game Alhambra only left three runners on base because they didn’t often set the table to drive runs in to begin with.

The loss comes in the first game of a three-game home stand played in consecutive games before the team can take a eight-game break before hosting the annual Easter Tournament.

Cardinal Newman is in Division II, but both Sonoma Valley (Wednesday opponent) and St. Mary’s-Albany are Division III or below. Meaning both games will be important when it comes to playoff seeding.

About Gerardo Recinos

Profile photo of Gerardo Recinos
Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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