Terry Bernal/Daily Journal
Senior right-hander Aiden Yarwood didn’t allow a hit to lead Capuchino to a 6-0 win over Burlingame Friday night at Washington Park. The no-hitter was Yarwood’s second of the year
For the second time this season, Capuchino ace right-hander Aiden Yarwood exhibited no-hit brilliance.
This one, though, meant a little bit more.
After firing his first career no-no March 10 against Riordan in non-league action, Yarwood came up with his second no-hit gem Friday night under the lights of Washington Park to lead the Mustangs (4-2 in PAL Bay, 14-3 overall) to a 6-0 victory over Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division rival Burlingame (2-3, 6-6-1).
“He’s a special kid,” Capuchino manager Matt Wilson said. “I’ve seen this kid grow up … and he’s just always composed. He doesn’t get up, he doesn’t get down when he has a bad inning, and tonight he just stayed composed the whole game. And he did a hell of a job.”
Yarwood issued a back-to-back walks with two outs in the first inning then proceeded to set down 15 straight Burlingame batters.
While the senior right-hander issued four walks throughout, he relied on a big breaking curveball to strike out four. His bread and butter though was his fastball as he pounded the bottom of the strike zone relentlessly to induce 12 groundouts, including the final out of the game on a topper to Cap shortstop Trey Zahursky who fired across the diamond to first baseman Jakob Uriarte to spark a postgame celebration in the middle of the diamond.
The biggest defensive play came earlier in the seventh inning though when Burlingame junior Tyler White raked a line drive down the first-base line. It was the only ball the Panthers offense squared up all night, but Uriarte at first base was ready for it, laying out with a step and a dive to glove it on the fly and preserve Yarwood’s historic performance.
“That’s the play of the year right there,” Yarwood said. “I thought it was going to get through. I went over to see if I could cover the bag but he had it all by himself. The dive and everything — beautiful.”
Much of the credit for Cap’s defense being on its toes goes to Yarwood though. The senior totaled 88 pitches, working with an up-tempo rhythm all night long. After pitching through two walks in the first — totaling 19 pitches in the inning — he got through the second inning in six pitches, and the third inning in nine.
Then, by the fourth inning, all his Mustangs teammates played like they were full aware of the no-hitter.
“Since the fourth inning I was thinking: ‘I have to lay out for any play — anything close,’” Uriarte said. “It’s easy to play behind him. He’s by far the best pitcher on our team. So, it’s incredible playing behind him.”
Locking up with Burlingame starting pitcher Derek Flowers helped expedite the fast tempo. Flowers surrendered two runs in the first but settled in for an impressive night as well, working six innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits to take the loss.
“I got a little out of control and then settled down after that and was able to bounce back after that first inning,” Flowers said.
It was Flowers’ throwing error that proved costly in the first though. Zahursky led off the game with a single up the middle. Then, after a wild pitch moved Zahursky to second, Yarwood laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Flowers’ throw sailed over the first baseman’s head allowing Zahursky to score.
After another wild pitch, Yarwood moved to third on a ground out by Matt O’Mahony. Junior third baseman Leonardo Espinoza then hit a bounder to shortstop to score Yarwood, giving Cap the early 2-0 lead.
“We made an error in the first inning and gave them two runs,” Burlingame manager Shawn Scott said. “You can’t give them two runs. They’re pretty damn good and they make routine plays.”
Flowers and Scott both applauded Yarwood’s effort though.
“First-pitch strike,” Flowers said. “That was his No. 1.”
Scott attributed the dominance of Cap’s ace to one simple virtue.
“Pitching,” Scott said. “Absolutely pitching. The kid was awesome.”
Burlingame nearly came up with a hit two batters into the bottom of the first inning when senior Mitch DeMartini hit a soft liner that looked ticketed for center field, but O’Mahony, Cap’s second baseman, ran it down to nab it with a high backhand. Zahursky at shortstop went on to total seven infield assists on groundouts and Espinoza at third base added two more, including a nice play in the second to quell Tyler Gannon’s bunt attempt for a base hit.
The score stayed 2-0 until the seventh, when Cap sent 10 batters to the plate against three different Burlingame relievers to rally for four runs.
Then, in the bottom of the inning, Yarwood didn’t allow a ball out of the infield — he only yielded one all night on a third-inning fly out to left fielder Christian Colmenares — then got a little help from Uriarte’s web gem to improve his record to 5-2.
“[Yarwood] looked really nice tonight,” Wilson said. “When you’re playing a league game and it’s under the lights, you get a little bit up for that. And I think that helped a lot. And the support he had from the teammates all day was great as well.”