Baseball: Stuart Hall sits alone atop BCL West after win over Lick-Wilmerding

Stuart Hall sophomore pitcher Ben Carrasco sets to send a pitch toward the plate against Lick-Wilmerding on Friday at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Doug Ko)

By Jeremy Balan

SAN BRUNO — Lick-Wilmerding High School baseball may have won the last four league titles, but after a 2-1 win over the Tigers on Friday at Skyline College, Stuart Hall sits alone atop the Bay Counties League West.

Both teams came into the week undefeated in league play, but Stuart Hall (11-4, 6-0) served Lick (10-9, 4-2) its first league loss with a 10-6 win on Tuesday and completed the sweep on Friday.

Lick-Wilmerding catcher Will Page (right) blocks the plate before tagging out Stuart Hall's Lucas Long to end the top half of the sixth inning on Friday at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“This is huge for the kids, and it was a very emotional game for them,” said Stuart Hall head coach Eddie Russell. “To come out here and win this game is going to give them a tremendous amount of confidence to finish the season.”

Sophomore left-hander Ben Carrasco had another stellar performance on the mound, allowing just three hits while striking out eight to collect the complete-game victory, but his final inning was his most nerve-wracking.

Clinging to a one-run lead, Carrasco allowed a leadoff double to Lick-Wilmerding first baseman Danny Baldocchi, but retired the next three batters in order, including a crucial strikeout with one out and Baldocchi at third base.

“There’s no one I’d rather have out there than Ben,” Russell said. “He goes out and competes better than any kid I’ve had. If I went out there and tried to take him out, I would have had to pry the ball out of his hands with pliers.”

Carrasco didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Lick center fielder Lucas Howard broke up his no-hit bid with a one-out single, then stole second, allowing third baseman Evan Korn to break the scoreless tie with an RBI single.

But the Knights responded immediately with a two-out rally in top of the sixth. After Lick starting pitcher Nick Corson retired the first two batters, TJ Najera reached on an error and Carrasco followed with a single to put runners on first and third.

Then, after a stolen base by Carrasco, junior first baseman Lucas Long put the Knights up for good with a clutch two-RBI single.

Stuart Hall's TJ Najera (right) slides in to second for a stolen base in the fourth inning against Lick-Wilmerding on Friday at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Doug Ko)

“You gotta believe in the team,” Carrasco said. “I thought we would get [the runs] and we did. After that, I could really go after people [on the mound], and once we got the lead, I wasn’t going to give it up.”

The two runs, both unearned, were the only blemishes on Corson’s day. The junior right-hander struck out just two in 6 1/3 innings of work, but only allowed four baserunnners until the sixth inning, retiring nine consecutive batters in one stretch.

“He pitched extremely well and was in the strike zone the whole day,” said Lick head coach Manny Granillo. “He was very efficient. I don’t think he had more than 80 pitches, and the couple of errors caused him to throw more pitches.”

The Tigers had limited opportunities against Carrasco throughout, but got the tying run to third in each of the final two innings and couldn’t cash in.

“It was a tough loss, but all league losses are tough,” Granillo said. “We started out well in the seventh inning and I thought we’d at least tie the game, but that’s just part of baseball.”

Even with the loss, Granillo and the Tigers take comfort in the fact that they could have a chance for redemption once the playoffs begin.

“Four championships in a row puts a big target on us. We know that and we’re OK with it,” Granillo said. “We still have a shot and haven’t given up yet. We’ll be back in the playoffs and we’ll go out and play hard.”

Scoring Summary

Fifth Inning
LW – Evan Korn singles, Lucas Howard scores

Sixth Inning
SH – Lucas Long singles, TJ Najera and Ben Carrasco score

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11 Comments

  1. G says:

    Wow… where is the BCL championship held at?

  2. Bro says:

    Urban should have beaten Lick and Stuart Hall atleast once. But they made some fielding blunders that cost them the game

    • Anonymous says:

      beyond the fact thats not true, thats baseball.

      • Bro says:

        its very true. Urban gave lick 5 runs on 0 hits. they lost 6-5

        • Anonymous says:

          Let’s not forget the first Lick V. Urban game……

          Lick won 19-4. sooooo let’s not disregard a possible off game. baseball is baseball, but come on you cant give a team THAT much credit if that can’t capitalize on opportunities

          • Bro says:

            they did lose to them 19-4, but they should have beaten lick 5-1 when they played them in league. Gotta give Urban credit for not being the team that everyone beats.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is true. However they are only 2-4 in league, with two wins over a weak Drew team that, let’s face it, no longer even belongs in the BCL West. As their record and history in the league shows, the teams that really should have won those games did, although not in the most decisive style.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I laugh at comments like that seeing as they are just false.

  4. C says:

    I’m pretty sure thats spencer palmer sliding into second base in the third picture, not TJ. Not a big deal but just thought it should be pointed out.

  5. LOL says:

    It’s funny because this is a joke

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