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Carr helps drive John Glenn to non-league victory over Whittier

By Loren Kopff

Jake Carr may not be the number one or number two pitcher on John Glenn’s baseball staff, but the senior righty is definitely a valuable number three hurler. In just his third start of the season, Carr worked into the sixth inning and scattered five hits as the Eagles pulled away from visiting Whittier late for a 7-1 victory this past Wednesday.

Carr had entered the contest with two complete games in as many starts with a perfect earned run average and had only given up five hits in those two starts. Against the Cardinals, he faced the minimum through the first three innings, hitting Justin Vizcarra, who would get caught stealing second, with one out in the top of the first inning and yielding a leadoff single to Steven Genera in the next inning. But Carr would induce Eduardo Garcia into an inning-ending double play.

“Jake’s been great all year,” said Glenn head coach Jack Brooks. “He’s really stepped up. This was his third quality outing and his third win. He has filled a big role for us.”

After throwing 30 pitches through the first three innings, Carr struggled a little in the fourth. With two outs, Matt Sosa reached on an infield single and Genera followed with his second hit of the game. A walk to Alex Andueza loaded the bases and another walk, this one to Garcia, ended the shutout bid.

But Carr bounced back to get Jared Figueroa to fly out to sophomore left fielder Joe Gonzales, then stranded Pete Soto at third in the fifth when he got three straight groundouts. In the top of the sixth, Sosa singled and reached second on an error which signaled the end of Carr’s time on the mound. He was replaced by senior Victor Sanchez, the ace of the staff, who worked the final six outs, walking two and striking out a pair.

“I just had a feeling,” Brooks said of making the pitching change. “I didn’t like the matchup with that four-hitter and we had [Victor] ready to go. That’s what I liked.”

Offensively, the Eagles struck first in the bottom of the second when senior designated hitter Tony Varoz singled, moved to second on a passed ball, went to third on a fielder’s choice from freshman second baseman Humberto Chiquito and scored on a sacrifice from Gonzales.

In the third, Carr was safe on an error, one of five from Whittier’s defense, and scored on a two-out single from senior first baseman Erick Galindo. Carr just wasn’t doing the job on the mound as he finished the game two for three with four stolen bases, a run scored and a run driven in.

“That’s why he’s a returning first team all-league player,” Brooks said. “He’s a senior and that’s what we need to have from him for us to be the type of ballclub that we want to be.”

With the Eagles (8-4 overall) nursing a 2-1 lead and Sanchez on the mound, they put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, sending nine batters to the plate and getting a two-out, bases loaded, two-run double from junior Sammy Lopez, followed by a base hit from Carr. Galindo and Lopez would each go two for three as Glenn stole five bases and had two sacrifices as part of its small-ball mentality.

Glenn will face Gahr on Saturday and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Monday, two powerhouse teams in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section, as part of the St. Paul Easter Tournament. The Eagles will then play two more games in the tournament, which wraps up on Wednesday. When spring vacation is over, the Eagles return to Suburban League action with the front end of a home and home series against city rival Norwalk on Apr. 15 on the west side of town. The Eagles split with La Mirada last week to open up league play, losing 3-2 on Mar. 25 but coming back for a 3-1 home victory two days later behind a complete game, five-hitter from senior Luis Rosas.

“Gahr and Notre Dame are big time programs and it’s going to be a great challenge for us and it’s going to be good for us,” Brooks said.

Contact Loren: [email protected]