College

Thursday, Mar 28 2013 07:46 PM

Saddleback gets best of BC 1-0 in classic pitchers' duel

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Saddleback College centerfielder, Cody Schmitz, makes a tough catch Thursday at Gerry Collis Field while playing against the Bakersfield College Renegades in the College of the Sequoias tournament.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield College second baseman, Erik Williams makes the first half of a double play beating Saddleback College base runner, Mitchell Holland to the bag and already throwing to first for the double Thursday in Bakersfield.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Saddleback College's Brandon Cody slides safely into third under the glove of Bakersfield College third baseman, Nick Sakowski during a game in the College of the Sequoias tournament.

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Darion Nunn pitched brilliantly for Bakersfield College on Thursday.

But he was facing Saddleback College left-hander Evan Manarino, who had one of the best pitching performances in recent memory against the Renegades.

Manarino tossed a one-hitter as Saddleback (16-8) beat Nunn and the Renegades 1-0 at Gerry Collis Field.

Manarino (7-1) pitched to only one batter over the minimum and allowed only two baserunners.

BC (18-8) was shut out for the first time this season and has lost four of its last five games.

"It was an extremely well-pitched game from both sides," BC coach Tim Painton said. "Who would have thought that a ball that landed on the left-field line in the second inning for a triple and a ground ball would hold up?"

Neither team drew a walk. BC's only baserunners were Justin Martinez, who grounded a single to center leading off the fourth, and pinch hitter Luc Pomales, who was hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth.

Manarino, who lowered his earned run average to 1.63, struck out pinch hitter Aaron Newman to end it and was swarmed by his Saddleback teammates.

"He was special today," Saddleback coach Sommer McCartney said.

"I could see from the first inning he had command of his breaking ball," said Nunn, who allowed seven hits and struck out four in 7-1/3 innings. "I was just trying to give my team its best opportunity to win."

Nunn could only shrug his shoulders when discussing the Gauchos' only run.

"That's baseball," Nunn said. "Our hitters struggled today. But the rest of the season they've been getting seven or eight runs a game."

With one out in the Saddleback second, Brandon Cody's line drive landed on the left-field line and rolled into the corner. By the time left fielder Cole Hallum could run it down and get the ball back to the infield, Cody had a triple.

Mitch Holland followed with an RBI ground out to shortstop.

Saddleback almost added a run in the eighth when two ground balls were booted by the BC infield for errors and Josh Fuentes hit an apparent sacrifice fly for an RBI and 2-0 lead.

But Slate Miller, the runner on third, was called out on an appeal for leaving too early, keeping the score 1-0.

But Manarino just kept mowing down the BC batters. He wasn't overpowering and had only five strikeouts.

"He did a good job of mixing his pitches," Painton said. "Hew threw his change-up for strikes and kept our hitters off-balance."

Manarino said he has never thrown a no-hitter.

"I had a couple of one-hitters in high school and a two-hitter," Manarino said. "I know I'm not overpowering. I was just trying to keep them off-balance."

He finished with 82 pitches and had a three-ball count on only two batters.

Even though the game was played in Bakersfield, it was BC's third game of the College of the Sequoias tournament. The Renegades went 1-2, with the win coming Wednesday against Reedley College.

"We're going to build on these last two pitching performances," Painton said. "We've only given up two (earned) runs in our last 18 innings. We've just got to do a better job offensively."

The Renegades play host to L.A. Valley on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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