By GERARDO RECINOS
It took Alhambra’s baseball team only a half inning to get across the 10-run mark to trigger the mercy rule. And those 10 runs were scored before two outs were recorded.
What a way to open your own tournament.
A 23-0 win against Mt. Diablo on April 3 will leave Alhambra with a happy to start to their annual Easter Tournament.
But for most players and fans, the game went four innings too long against a team that didn’t hold a candle to the Bulldogs.
Credit to Mt. Diablo junior starting pitcher Jose Zaragoza. The right-hander threw 108 pitches in three gutsy hard-worked innings, but had little to no command, and was beaten up for it.
He threw 64 balls out of the strike zone, walked 11 hitters, hit two, and threw five wild pitches. When he did get into the strike zone, he was torched.
The Bulldogs pounded out 10 hits in those three innings and put 17 runs on the pitcher, and of those, 14 of them were earned runs. Nearly every guy in the lineup got a hit, and all but one hitter who made a plate appearance reached base.
It really was clear that the game would be over quite quickly from first pitch. Even despite the fact that Alhambra starter Teddy Stanghellni struggled with his command, he struck out the side in the top of the first inning.
He never got back into the game.
Whether coach Ray Stokes wanted to save the sophomore for the later stages of the tournament, or if the move was tactical, it made little sense for the pitcher to return after the bottom half of the first inning. And it got Ryan Craig a chance to get some innings.
That’s because the Bulldogs batted around through the lineup before a single out was recorded.
Garret Swartz and Zach Schuler both drove in runs in separate at bats. Tyler Boyce (who drove in four runs on the night) Andrew Costa and Jordyn Eglite also drove in runs to spark a 10-0 inning.
The Bulldog trio of Stanghellini, Craig and Jeremy Abraham combined to pitch a one-hit shutout and strike out 11 hitters. Of the three, the most dominating was Abraham, who struck out the side in consecutive innings to close out the shortened game.
The Bulldogs were not held quiet in any inning of the contest, however they didn’t quit match the total that Enterprise-Redding put on the Red Devils.
They beat them 39-0 in three innings for the Mt. Diablo opener.
Still nursing a winless record, the Red Devils had already been beaten by Pittsburg in their opening game of the Easter Tournament by Pittsburg, the Bulldogs’ opponent in the second game of the tournament.
The 16-5 win by Pittsburg came on Saturday when the Bulldogs were scheduled to play their opener.