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Archbishop Carroll Falls Just Short Against Sagemont

Andres Vazquez threw a complete-game shutout Wednesday.

Sagemont scored nine runs in its district championship win Thursday, but the Lions had to settle for just a run Wednesday as they scratched out a 1-0 victory over Archbishop Carroll in a Class 3A regional quarterfinal.

Carroll had freshman Sal Lorenzo on the mound. After logging a 2.60 ERA this year in 47 innings, the young right-hander worked efficiently through the first inning, registering a flyout and two groundouts.

Vazquez worked quickly through the heart of the Bulldogs’ lineup, setting them down 1-2-3. Lorenzo quickly struck out the first batter in the bottom of the second, but an error put the next man, Chris Iacona, on base. Vazquez was up next and worked a long count. On a 2-1 pitch, Iacono attempted to steal second, but a perfect throw from Bulldogs catcher Matt Quicuti nailed him for the second out. Vazquez walked and his courtesy runner, senior Edgar Abreu, was moved over to second when second baseman David Velez reached on an infield single.

Alexis Revelo came up next and blooped a shallow pop-up behind first base that fell in for a double, scoring Abreu, who was running on contact. Lorenzo struck out the next batter to strand two runners and end the threat but not before the Lions were able to take a 1-0 lead.

Carroll came up in the top of the first and Sagemont starter Andres Vazquez quickly put away the first two batters. Senior William Roger came to the plate and reached on an infield single. He quickly stole second but was held there after a lineout to first ending the top half of the inning.

Alexis Revelo drives in the only run of the game on a bloop single behind first base.

Carroll again was held to just three batters in the top of the third after Vazquez got two batters to fly out and struck out the last. Vazquez worked efficiently all game and kept the Carroll hitters off balance.

“Coach told me they were a good-hitting team, and my goal tonight was to spot my pitches correctly,” Vazquez said. “We had a game plan, and we stuck to locating pitches the right way.” 

He threw less than 80 pitches for the game and allowed seven baserunners.

Sagemont came out swinging in its half of the third as senior Brynn Martinez drove a base hit to center to lead things off. After a popup to second, Sean Iacono came up to bat. On a 2-1 pitch, Martinez broke for second, but Lorenzo, whose pick off move was effective all game, picked off Martinez for the second out. Iacono drove a base hit down the left-field line for a two-out single but was stranded after Lorenzo struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Carroll stepped up to the plate in the fourth and their lead-off man quickly flew out. Roger was up next and lined a base hit to right. First baseman Anthony Gonzalez followed with a sky-high pop-up to shallow left field. The wind got a hold of it and it carried behind third where Martinez almost made the catch on a dive.

Carroll threatened with runners on first and second with one out. Miguel Gonzalez who reached on an error, loading the bases for the Bulldogs. Again, Vazquez worked diligently and struck out the next batter before inducing an infield pop-up to end the threat, stranding three Carroll runners.

Lorenzo was relieved by Alexis Castillo in the fourth after giving up only one run on four hits. Castillo saw four batters in that inning, allowing only one walk while he got three Sagemont hitters to fly-out routinely. Fly balls were a common trend in Wednesday’s contest. The wind blew in strong from left field all game as both clubs tallied 12 fly-outs.

Carroll center fielder throws out Chris Malahias tagging from third.

In the fifth, a lead-off hit-by-pitch put Chris Malahias on base before back-to-back singles by Martinez and Stefan Revelo loaded the bases. Carroll pitching and defense came through in the clutch as center fielder Christ Ortega fielded a fly ball and then threw out Malahias. After an intentional walk, the next batter lined out with the bases still loaded

Sagemont Manager Wesley Morejob praised Vazquez’s efforts.

“He’s being doing this all year,” Morejon said. “My mindframe coming into the season was a bullpen-type pitching staff, and Andres stepped up and pitched five complete games this season. The way he handles the pressure and keeps his composure, you can’t ask anything more of him.”

Archbishop Carroll looked to the future as tried to stay strong in defeat.

“We got this far and that’s always a positive, but the top positive to this season was the experience these young core guys got this year,” Carroll Manager Jorge Guitierrez said. “We had great guys transfer in this year. Those guys were the heart beat to the team. I told the guys coming back next year to come back with a sour taste in their mouth so we can get back to work next season.” 

Despite the strong effort Wednesday, Morejon wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s game.

“Our approach has to be a little better,” Morejon said. “We need to adjust to things like the wind today with flyballs. We only had one error tonight, and beside that, we played solid defense and positioned our guys well all game. As long as we’re putting ourselves in the right position before the play happens, we’re going to be all right.”

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