Carmona Dominates LaSalle To Lead Pace To Victory
Yordani Carmona has owned opposing hitters this season, punching out an impressive 72 batters in just 38 innings pitched.
On Tuesday night, he added another chunk to that total, as he struck out 15 of the 21 hitters he faced in his six innings of work in Pace’s 6-2 victory over LaSalle.
“I felt good as soon as I started warming up. I knew I had a good defense behind me, so I just tried doing my job and my defense had my back,” said the junior left-hander.
LaSalle’s starter Andy Quintana matched Carmona early on, as Pace struggled to figure him out the first couple of innings.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. The Spartans got the first two men on, thanks to an M.C. Sagaro lead-off a single, and Luis Tuero getting hit by a pitch. Two batters later, a run scored on a sailed throw that went out of play, making it 1-0 Spartans. The miscues continued for the Royal Lions, and Pace took full advantage, scoring three more runs in the inning.
“Our lefty threw well the whole game, but we just couldn’t play defense behind him,” Royal Lions manager Nathan Gomez said. “I think if we made those plays it would have been a different ball game.”
The four-run lead was more than enough for Carmona, as he hadn’t allowed a hit yet, and had struck out the side in three of his first five innings.
“We were trying to attack the zone from the first inning. We came to play ball, and when you come to play ball you’re gonna win games,” Spartan backstop Roberto Moya said about their mindset attacking the LaSalle lineup.
The Spartans tallied a couple of more runs in the fifth to make it 6-0. With the no-hitter still intact, Carmona was now only six outs away from being the second no-hitter thrown on the day in the 5A-15 playoffs.
The no-hit bid ended on a one-out double to center field. Carmona quickly recovered and fanned the next two guys to end the inning.
“Every time he gets on the mound you know what he’s going to give you. He’s going to be in the zone and he’s going to attack. He’s just a pure pitcher,” Spartan’s Manager Tom Duffin said about his ace.
The Royal Lions did not go down without a fight. After a lead-off walk, LaSalle scored two runs on a double and a sailed throw. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to overcome the six run deficit.
Pace will now face Mater Lakes in the 5A-15 final on Thursday.
For LaSalle, the season comes to an end, but their future looks bright. They return 18 guys next year. As for the graduating class, their skipper had a few words for them.
“It’s been a pleasure coaching you guys,” Gomez said. “I want them to know that I will always be here for them because this goes beyond baseball. I’ll be here for them.”