The Carlmont Scots took care of business Wednesday, rolling through Sequoia for a 9-1 victory to wrap up the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division baseball championship outright.

“We didn’t want to share the title,” Carlmont senior Collin O'Driscoll said. “So, we had to come out like it was the biggest game of the year and just win the game.”

Unlike Monday’s 1-0 walk-off win to clinch no less than a co-league championship, the swinging Scots (12-2 PAL Bay, 20-6-1 overall) looked like themselves at the plate Wednesday. O’Driscoll — who has batted leadoff all season — teed off on the first pitch of the game and deposited it over the right-field wall. Tanner Van Why added a solo home run to lead off the third inning and Tripp Garrish hit a two-run jack in the seventh.

The Scots — who totaled 14 hits in the game — finish the regular season batting .322 as a team.

“I just think up and down, we can all get it done,” Garrish said. “If one person has a rough at-bat, the next guy’s going to pick him up. … We just pick each other up.”

Garrish entered the day as the leading hitter in the PAL Bay Division. But the left-handed senior slugger was in a mini-slump, going hitless in his past two games. He continued it into Wednesday, going 0 for his first 3 at-bats

“I’ve had a pretty good year so far,” Garrish said. “Haven’t had the best last three games, haven’t had a hit, but my team has picked me up. It’s awesome because it takes so much pressure off your shoulders.”

Not only did Garrish break out of the mini-slump in the seventh inning by scorching a line-drive home run to his pull field in right-center, he also made up for any lack of offense on the mound. The senior southpaw worked five innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits while striking out seven to earn the win.

Garrish is now 7-1 on the year.

“He did a great job establishing first-pitch strikes,” Scots manager Ryan Hamilton said. “He wasn’t feeling the greatest today, but he battled through what he was feeling. We knew we weren’t going to have him for seven (innings), but he did his job and got through five, and one unearned run. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

After scoring one run in the first on O’Driscoll’s third home run of the season, Carlmont added a run in the second on an RBI single from Brady Greene. Van Why tagged his second home run of the year in the third to make it 3-0. Then after Garrish departed with a 3-1 lead, the Scots added two in the sixth with RBI singles from Aidan Kurt and Greene.

In the seventh, the Scots broke it open. Cleanup hitter Jack Vanoncini followed Garrish’s two-run homer with a double to right-center. Carson Vance singled home Vanoncini. Vance then scored on a two-base error on a dropped fly ball in the Sequoia outfield.

“I think we’ve got a lot of confidence,” Garrish said, “and we come to practice every day ready to work, and ready to go. Everyone is buying in. Even if you’re the 1-hitting center fielder like Collin, or you’re like Michael (Del Santo), who has maybe 10 at-bats on the season, gets a knock. Everyone’s buying in and everyone has a big role, no matter how much it is on the field.”

Sequoia scored its only run of the series in the fifth inning when Ian Holt crossed the plate on an infield throwing error. The Ravens had their chances though, stranding 10 runners in the game, including the bases loaded in the third.

“We’re searching for the big hit and … we’ve got to keep working,” Ravens manager Mike Doyle said. “At some point the dam is going to break and all the runs are going to come flooding out. But right now, we’re struggling to get the big hit.”

Sequoia is still guaranteed a bid to the Central Coast Section playoffs by virtue of its fourth-place finish in the Bay Division. The top five teams automatically advance to the postseason. Along with Carlmont and Sequoia, second-place Burlingame, third-place Menlo-Atherton and fifth-place Capuchino earn auto bids. Sixth-place Aragon will petition for an at-large bid by virtue of its 15-9 overall record.

The reigning CCS Division II champion Ravens (7-7, 9-16-1) may not be hitting like a postseason contender in recent days, but they are pitching like one. Monday’s starting pitcher Jack Lanham opened the series with six scoreless innings against the most potent lineup in the PAL by far.

“It was awesome,” Doyle said. “I think our guys realized they can play with anybody. This season has been one of ups and downs, but it’s all really, I think, starting to come together. They played like that on Monday.”

Carlmont now appears to be on track to earn a bid to the CCS Open Division I tournament, opening Saturday, May 21. The Scots are currently ranked No. 8 in the CCS, according to MaxPreps. The CCS seeding meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, May 18.

Regardless, the Scots, winners of six straight, are playing like a team on a mission. And Wednesday’s victory was the first step in the team’s quest to fulfill that mission.

“We had our fun after the game on [Monday] and then today was just more taking care of the rest and just making sure we don’t share the league title with anybody,” Hamilton said. “So, yeah … business trip, and that’s what we did.”

Terry Bernal is a sports writer, covering the county beat spanning from Daly City to Menlo Park. You can reach Terry via email at terry@smdailyjournal.com or by phone at (650) 344-5200 x109. See Terry Bernal’s other articles: https://bit.ly/35At9xn

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