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Norwalk edges John Glenn in pitching-dominated game, remains in fourth place


By Loren Kopff

John Glenn junior pitcher Cesar Arzate pitched well enough to win his team’s biggest Suburban League game thus far but Norwalk sophomore Carlos Garcia was even better. In his third start of the season, Garcia scattered four hits, struck out five and walked one in a complete game 2-1 home victory this past Wednesday.

Garcia threw 88 pitches and notched the first complete game thrown by a Norwalk hurler this season. The Lancers improved to 9-10 overall, 3-2 in the circuit and remained in fourth place for the time being.

“He came out and did a fantastic job,” said Norwalk head coach Ruben Velasquez. “We threw him at home today because we wanted to keep him as comfortable as possible. He is a sophomore and this is a rivalry game. Like I told the kids before, they’re not going to back down from us. They’re not going to just roil over for us and just let us beat them. We’re going to have to take it from them and play some solid defense, which we did today.”

Not to be outdone was Arzate’s job on the hill. He too went the distance for the third time this season and gave up seven hits while striking out four and walking one. He needed just 67 pitches as the game was completed in roughly 90 minutes. Glenn first-year head coach Jack Brooks decided to go with Arzate over senior ace John Lemos because Arzate had not pitched since Apr. 5.

“One earned run,” Brooks said. “You can’t ask for anything more. It’s a typical game for him. He has struggled in the first inning all year but after that, he settles down. He pitched great.”

All of the scoring Norwalk needed came in the bottom of the first. Junior shortstop Jesse Rodriguez chopped an infield single towards second, stole second, went to third on a ground out and came home on a wild pitch. Arzate then walked senior third baseman Miguel Castaneda and after another groundout, senior first baseman Jose Sandoval’s base hit to center brought in Castaneda.

After that, Arzate didn’t allow a runner past second. He got out of a two on, none-out situation in the fourth by striking out sophomore designated hitter Faustino Colon, getting sophomore right fielder Jose Ramos to pop up to short and getting sophomore center fielder Trino Romero to hit into a fielder’s choice.

“He looked good,” Velazquez said of Arzate. “He’s a kid I haven’t had an opportunity to see pitch this year. He held his own. We got two early runs off of him and the opportunity was there for us to blow this game open and we didn’t. It’s got to be a confidence booster for him. He was pretty impressive.”

Meanwhile, Garcia was breezing through the first part of the game, retiring the first eight batters on 26 pitches before freshman left fielder Victor Sanchez singled to the left field gap. Garcia began the top of the fifth by walking junior right fielder Rene Gaytan and after a pair of groundouts, junior second baseman Ricky Padilla singled in Gaytan. Glenn would not get a runner past first the rest of the way.

“I was more concerned with how we pitched,” Velasquez said. “If we walk people, then they’re going to score and that’s exactly what happened.”

“He did a great job,” Brooks said of Garcia. “He threw strikes. He threw his breaking ball a little bit better and controlled the game with one pitch.”

The Eagles fell to 7-12 overall and 2-5 in the league as they host Norwalk today before visiting Santa Fe on Saturday in a makeup game that was rained out on Mar. 17. Glenn then visits Artesia on Wednesday.

“It’s a must win on Friday,” Brooks said. “If we drop the game on Friday, that puts us in a real tough position. Basically, we would have to win out. Friday is a very big game for us.”

Velasquez feels the same way about today’s game. On Wednesday, the Lancers will host Cerritos.

“If we win, that’s going to put us at 4-2 and it still keeps us in the hunt for a first place nod,” he said. “Mayfair is up at the top and we don’t face them until the end of the season. We have some things we need to get better at and it’s not going to be easy.”


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