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Spartans roll past Nitros, 14-0

Cole Kendall pitches a complete game as La Cañada baseball shuts out Glendale.

April 23, 2009|By Parimal M. Rohit

La Cañada starting pitcher Cole Kendall allowed just three hits and allowed no runs in a complete-game effort as the Spartans lit up Glendale High (4-9) for seven runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Nitros, 14-0, in a nonleague matchup on Monday afternoon.

The Spartan bats were as hot as the sweltering heat at Glendale High’s baseball diamond, as La Cañada (13-1) connected for 13 heats and scored runs in four of the five innings played. Due to a 10-run mercy rule, the game was called after Kendall (6-0) retired the last Nitro batter in the bottom of the fifth.

“They are on a mission,” Spartan Coach Dennis Ballard said. “It’s exciting to see a team with this much chemistry.”

La Cañada’s chemistry led to five extra bases, including two triples and three doubles, and several key defensive plays to help Kendall shut down Glendale’s batters.

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The Nitros offense appeared to have some life early on, when Ian Conover hit a first-inning double. However, Glendale would notch only two more hits — a third-inning single by Juan Tiznado and a fifth-inning single by Luis Alvarez. In addition to the three hits, 11 of the 15 outs were recorded by the Spartan infield, while Kendall struck out three and allowed zero walks.

Glendale starting pitcher Zach Fields (0-4) did not have as good an outing as Kendall, allowing 10 runs in two-and-two-thirds innings. Fields also struck out two and walked three.

The Spartans wasted no time as Jeff Oechsel and Charlie Banks both drove in runs to give La Cañada a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. After tacking on a run in the top of the second inning, 12 Spartan batters came to the plate in the third, to score seven runs and extend their lead to 10-0.

Senior Max Russell was three-for-three with a triple, a double and a single with two RBIs and two runs scored. His teammate, Oechsel, scored two runs and drove in two more on two-for-two hitting with a double, a single, two stolen bases and two walks. Third baseman Kyle Gosselin drove in three runs on a fifth-inning double, his only hit of the game.

“These players just want to win,” Ballard said. “We have good hitters up and down. They are also very patient. You can count on (our offense) to score some runs.”

Eric Smith (illness) and A.J. Kim (personal reasons) both missed Monday’s game.

It was the Spartans’ seventh consecutive victory. They are tied with Monrovia for the best record in Rio Hondo league play, with nine games remaining (all against league opponents).

Glendale is 1-5 in league play with eight games remaining.


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