Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Carlmont shortstop Aaron Pleschner fires to first to complete a double play during the Scots’ 12-0 win over Terra Nova Wednesday afternoon.
When the Carlmont baseball team was losing three straight games late last month, the Scots could not do anything right: too many walks issued by the pitching staff, too many defensive errors and not enough clutch hits.
Fast forward two weeks and the Scots are on top of their game. They racked up 12 runs on 17 hits in a 12-0 shellacking of Terra Nova Wednesday afternoon in Belmont, keeping Carlmont atop the Bay Division standings and giving the Scots one-game lead over Terra Nova for the league championship.
“I feel like we’re clicking right now in every facet (of the game),” said Carlmont manager Rich Vallero. “We didn’t have that a couple weeks ago.”
Carlmont (9-4 PAL Bay, 19-6 overall) did everything right Wednesday. The Scots did not commit an error, they were spraying the ball around the ballpark and got as clutch a pitching performance for which one could ask. Matt Seubert was making his fifth start of the season and he turned in one of the best performances by a Carlmont pitcher this season. The junior righty threw the Scots’ first complete game of the season, as well as their first shutout of year. Seubert allowed only four hits while striking out eight and walking four. Terra Nova (8-5, 18-6) managed to get only one runner as far as third and had only two others make it as far as second.
“Just try to keep them off balance, throw strikes and rely on my defense,” said Seubert, explaining his approach.
His only real trouble came in the top of the fifth inning with Carlmont already leading 10-0. Jeff Hendricks led off the inning for Terra Nova with a double — the Tigers only extra base hit of the game. Following a flyout to left, Beau Eastman walked and after a popout, Anthony Gordon walked to load the bases and bring up clean up-hitter Curtis Casperson, who hit an 0-1 pitch to Jesse Austin at third base, who stepped on the bag to end the inning.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more (from Seubert),” Vallero said. “Baseball is the most important thing in his life. He expects perfection from himself. He’s been a spot starter and we’ve gone to him when we needed to hammer a game. We knew he was going to attack the (strike) zone.”
Seubert’s performance was buoyed by the fact he was pitching with a lead from the second inning on.
“That helps a lot. When the offense gives you runs, it’s easier to accept when [the opposition gets] runners on base,” Seubert said. “Our offense has been pretty good lately. Getting some early runs is reassuring.”
The Scots wasted little time in getting to Terra Nova starter Ray Falk, who came into the game with a sub-2.00 ERA. Carlmont touched him up for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. While Jason Marley drove in the first run of the game with a single to left, Johnathan Corvello had the most significant hit, a big chopper over the third baseman’s head for a two-run single.
Those three runs turned out to be all the Scots would need.
Carlmont had five players with two or more hits, as well as four batters drive in two RBIs. Leadoff hitter Kai Haake was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, No. 2 hitter Westmoreland was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Marley, batting in the three spot, picked up a pair of hits to go along with his two RBIs. Aaron Albaum, in the No. 7 slot, had three hits in his four appearances, while No. 9 hitter Aaron Pleschner had a pair of singles.
In addition to Corvello’s two-run single, Justin Fink also drove in a pair of runs with a two-run double in the fourth.
After the three-run first, the Scots put the game away with a seven-run fourth, sending 13 batters to the plate in the process. They tacked on two more in bottom of the sixth.
“No one took their foot off the gas after we got up early,” Vallero said. “The last three games our offense is starting to catch fire.”
While the Scots took their first step toward the Bay Division title, there was no celebrating afterward. They know they still have work to do to beat Terra Nova in Pacifica Friday — where the Tigers have lost only one game this year. A Terra Nova win would make the two teams co-champions, with the possibility of a tri-championship if Burlingame sweeps Capuchino this week.
“We respect Terra Nova,” Vallero said. “But I don’t want to be a co-champion.”