Miramonte Baseball Update: Week of April 11-15

Miramonte Baseball Update: Week of April 11-15

Eric Ting, Editor-in-Chief



Senior pitcher James Vaccaro stood upon the brand new mound, took a deep breath, and dealt his best pitching performance of the year. “Whenever I got into jams, I told myself: there’s no way they score this inning. I took a deep breath and got out,” Vaccaro said. The fastball throwing USC commit dealt a six-inning one hitter that propelled the Mats to a 4-0 victory in the first game on the new field. “I had great communication with (catcher) Will (McConnell), I have to trust him when I’m throwing sliders and curves. He’s the man, I love when he’s behind the mound.”

The long-awaited field renovations were finally completed earlier in the week, and the Mats were happy to finally play a game on their own field, after having to previously play games at Campolindo High School and Saint Mary’s College.

The Mats scored two runs in the first inning, as third baseman Eric Nyman and designated hitter Andrew Deaver each hit sac-flies good for one RBI apiece. The Mats scored again in the bottom of the fifth, on a bizarre play where center fielder Garrett Johnson appeared to bunt shortstop Zach Wong in from third base. “It was weird,” Wong said. “I was given the green light to steal home, then the pitch came in, it bounced, and Garrett still hit it. No one really knew what happened, we were just excited to score.”

Miramonte’s final run came later in the fifth when Nyman hit an RBI single that allowed junior pinch-runner Dekkers Barr to score. Junior reliever EJ Hodges entered in the seventh and sealed the victory for the Mats, who moved to 8-6 on the season with the win. Vaccaro’s final stat-line was six innings pitched, one hit, four walks and six strikeouts. First basemen Casey McGonigle enjoyed a good day from the plate, going 2-3 and scoring one run.

Eric Nyman continued his stellar season by driving in a team leading 2 RBIs, but injured his thumb in a slide attempt in the bottom of the fifth and was forced to exit the game. “I was trying to slide into second, but the guy used his calf to cover the plate and I slammed my thumb into him,” Nyman said. “It doesn’t feel as bad as it did earlier, but it still hurts.” Unfortunately for the Mats, their star-third baseman underwent X-Rays and will miss three to six weeks after breaking the tip of his thumb and spraining its lower joint. Junior Nick Foster is expected to take Nyman’s place in the lineup, either filling in directly at third base or by playing second base, allowing sophomore Sam Liang to slide into Nyman’s original spot at third.

The Mats were unable to ride their momentum on Wednesday however, and fell to the Dublin Gaels 3-2. The Mats led 2-1 going into the seventh inning, but faltered after a critical Liang error allowed the Gaels to take the lead. The Mats now sit at 8-7 and will play two home games this week: Dougherty Valley on Tuesday and Castlemont on Thursday.