A day after getting routed by undefeated Pacifica, the San Bruno Joe DMaggio squad bounced back Monday riding the arm of Rory McDaid.
McDaid went the distance to lead San Bruno to a 2-1 win over San Mateo Monday at Sea Cloud Park. The recent Capuchino graduate matched his lifetime high of 12 strikeouts to improve his record to 2-0.
Originally scheduled to throw against Pacifica, he bypassed the start as he was vacationing through the weekend. San Bruno ultimately got lambasted Sunday, 16-0.
But the vacation seemed to do McDaid good.
“Rory came back strong,” San Bruno manager Edgar Hernandez said. “He showed what San Bruno is actually about. He came back and took it upon himself to get the team back. We’ve got a couple aces on the team and he did his job to put the team back on track.”
With the win, San Bruno improves its record to 7-3 to solidify its second-place standing in the North Peninsula League standings. Pacifica, at 12-0, holds a commanding four-game lead over San Bruno. South City, at 6-5, is in third place, 5 1/2 games back of the division lead.
After winning Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division Pitcher of the Year honors as a senior at Cap in the spring, McDaid is showing no signs of slowing down. He featured a four-pitch repertoire Monday, using mostly his fastball while mixing in a cutter, a curve and a changeup.
“He threw all his pitches for strikes,” Hernandez said. “He threw 90 percent fastballs. He just threw his other stuff to keep them off his fastball.”
San Mateo led briefly after jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the third. After San Mateo loaded the bases with two outs, McDaid was on the verge of potentially escaping the jam unscathed. After running up a two-strike count, however, McDaid balked, allowing San Mateo’s only run of the game to score.
San Bruno answered right back in the bottom of the inning, though. With one out, Eddie Cecchi reached on an infield error. He advanced to second on a passed ball then stole third. Josh Hitchens then delivered a clutch RBI single with a line drive to left to tie it, 1-1.
In the fifth, San Bruno’s Kyle Patterson drew a one-out walk. Then the San Bruno running game delivered the go-ahead run. Patterson stole second; then he stole third, with the throw being mishandled allowing Patterson to plate, giving San Bruno a 2-1 lead.
McDaid did the rest, and even added a little torture to the final inning by allowing the tying run to reach scoring position on a wild pitch. But the right-hander buckled down to retire two consecutive San Mateo batters to end it.
“Rory was dominating,” Hernandez said. “He kind of bullied them a little bit. They’re a very good team there. The middle of their lineup is pretty good. And he let them know he was there.”
The win was a critical one to get San Bruno back on track amidst a busy week. With Monday’s game the team’s second in as many days, San Bruno travels to Fairmont Wednesday and to Half Moon Bay Friday before hosting a doubleheader against South City Sunday at Lara Field.
San Bruno has the pitching depth to play with such frequency though. The team features the same formidable tandem which led Capuchino to the best overall record in the PAL in the spring in McDaid and left-hander Joe Galea. Rounding out the rotation is Cecchi; the veteran right-hander coming off a solid outing last Wednesday in which he fired five innings to tab the win as San Bruno downed Trinity 11-5.
As for McDaid — who hasn’t taken the mound since a June 8 win against Millbrae — the wiry strong right-hander was riding high after his dominant 68-pitch complete game with a quiet confidence suggesting he is ready to take on the entire league himself.
“I feel great,” McDaid said. “I can go tomorrow.”