Baseball: Early runs enough for Stuart Hall to win first BCL West championship

The Stuart Hall baseball team celebrates after the final out against Marin Academy in the BCL West championship game on Saturday at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Brian Long,

By Jeremy Balan

SAN BRUNO — Stuart Hall got its first two batters of the game to score and would not put another run across for the rest of the game — fortunately for the Knights, that was enough to clinch their first Bay Counties League West baseball championship in school history.

Riding another standout performance from sophomore starting pitcher Ben Carrasco, the Knights held off Marin Academy the rest of the way to win 2-1 on Saturday at Skyline College.

Stuart Hall sophomore pitcher Ben Carrasco sends a pitch toward the plate against Marin Academy in the BCL West championship game on Saturday at Skyline College in San Bruno. (Photo by Brian Long,

“I’ve got excitement going through my blood right now,” said Stuart Hall head coach Eddie Russell. “More than anything, I’m just proud of these kids. It’s just a culmination of everything we’ve worked for.”

Carrasco struck out nine to collect the complete-game win, but after retiring the first eight Marin Academy batters, allowed at least a baserunner in every following inning.

“Ben, in my opinion, bar-none, is the best player in our league,” Russell said. “The most impressive part is that he’s only a sophomore. The BCL West can look forward to seeing him for two more years.”

Marin Academy (8-8) scored its only run on three consecutive base hits in the third inning, but could not get a runner past third base after that point.

“It’s really tough when you start getting those runners in scoring position. You start getting nervous and you really gotta focus on making your pitches,” Carrasco said. “I have confidence that if I do that and get ground balls, my defense will do the rest.”

The Knights (16-5) got on the board first on an RBI groundout by Carrasco and an RBI single from Alex Asadorian, then only tallied four hits in the next five innings.

“We knew it was going to be a close game,” said Marin Academy head coach Justin Hawkins. “We’re disappointed we didn’t win, obviously, but we’re pretty proud of the way we played. If things fall the other way, things might be different.”

After allowing the runs in the first, Marin Academy starting pitcher Andrew Hove locked down the Knights the rest of the way. Hove also had an opportunity to keep the game alive in the ninth and sent a deep fly ball to left field, but Asadorian tracked the ball down for the final out of the game.

“He’s been the workhorse for us this year,” Hawkins said. “The team feeds off of him and we got down early, but the team saw him settle down and then settled down after that.”

With the win, Stuart Hall earns the league’s automatic bid to the North Coast Section Division V playoffs, while Marin Academy will have to hope for an at-large bid.

Scoring Summary

First Inning
SH – Ben Carrasco grounds out, Connor Bottum scores
SH – Alex Asadorian singles, T.J. Najera scores

Third Inning
MA – Peter Schneider doubles, Andrew Hove scores

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(Photo Illustration by Josh Jalil)

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  1. PMell says:

    Good job guys! Wish I could have been there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ben carrasco us not the beat player in the bcl west. He wouldn’t survive in the wcal or aaa.

    • Anonymous says:

      He plays the best of those players in travel ball all the time. He knows all the best players in the city personally. It is a small baseball city. Baseball does not end now for the players with a dream to play on some level of college baseball. They will be working all summer and fall. The only opinions that matter are the batters who face a pitcher themselves. Stuart hall will play AAA and Wcal teams next year like we did this year. Watch a game and see with you own eyes its free and great games. We are not as deep with such a small school but we can compete with anyone. One thing I can say with great certinty That my son Ben has and will continue to work as hard as anyone.

      • Gary says:

        He knows all the players in the city personally because you own the only batting cage in the city. As a Lowell parent, it frusturates me to see a pitcher who was crushed by the third place AAA team to be the best player in a league. If this is so, this league is a joke. Carrasco cannot match up to the aces in the AAA. End of Story

        • Gary Tam says:

          Hi Gary,

          Would you please let me and others know you last name? I don’t think we parents (any team and any league) should openly speak badly of any player. Baseball is a great game and please keep it positive. As they say: If you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say it at all.

          If you have seen Ben play, you will know that he is a great player and deserves all the credits given to him. Stuart Hall is blessed to have him and I can’t wait to see him again as a competitor. Players like Ben makes everyone plays better.

          If you are truly a Lowell parent, you will understand what I mean.

          Gary Tam

      • my son Ben says:

        not so anonymous…

    • Anonymous says:

      he just had one good year. And the hitting was not very good this year, except for a couple guys on various teams. He wouldn’t even be a starter in the wcal

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s stupid how every time there is an article, some one has to come in and say that a certain league is worse than the wcal or aaa. It has become quite annoying actually. These are completely different leagues with different competition levels, and that’s just the way it is. Stop saying these things, and let the kids enjoy their championship.

    • old shool says:

      if he’s not thebest in BCl, then who is? Do you even watch this league to make a dumb comment like that, dont be a hater dude!

  3. WCAL Alum says:

    Congratulations to both International and Stuart Hall. Regardless of your opinions, the kids competed against their opponent (in front of them) and won.

    Look it comes down to depth, not only team, but of opponent. WCAL teams (even the City teams) benefit from having a frosh and JV to aclimate their players to the rigors (or frustrations) of WCAL varsity competition. The Stuart Halls, International, Univ. LW of the world on a given day can compete with a WCAL City team. A good pitcher having a good game can neutralize even the best opponent.

    In my opinion, Travel Ball is way overrated. Most are run by managers who want your money and they will tell you anything you want to here. Travel ball does serve a purpose though. It does allow the kid who wants to play competitively against other like-minded kids on a tournament (pressure) basis. Travel ball does allow the kids who play in the suburbs and smaller division schools an slight opportunity for somebody to see them. Where kids that play in WCAL programs will by default of all the WCALtalent on the Peninsula and South Bay will have scouts at their games.

    I know plenty of kids and mostly their parents that come to WCAL City schools that say my kid plays for this or that travel ball team. Once in the WCAL they realize that the pitching and defense is that much better that the competition at Twin Creeeks and Manteca.

    Again, travel ball does serve a purpose, but if your son plays for a WCAL team, you can save the money. Though in all honesty you already spent in on tuition.

    Again, congratulations to both International and Stuart Hall.

  4. bcl fan says:

    Carrasco is not the best in the bcl. Danny Baldocchi from Lick-WIlmerding is the more complete better player

    • Gary says:

      Thats all great Mike Carrasco, but these are all stats in the horrible league that is the BCL West.

    • johnny says:

      if you check those stats they are only against bcl west league teams. if you take into account the rest of the games they played he is not on the list.

      not trying to bash on the league or him just pointing it out

  5. Mr.Smith says:

    Gabe howden is a senior and ben carassco is a sophmore with close to better stats than him which means two years in transformation and two more league championships his senior stats will be triple they are now.

  6. mike says:

    Gary remember Stuart Hall beat ou second place AAA team handely. Thats my point any given day all you need if your a team in the city. Good pitching,great defence, and timely hitting and a schoool of 150 students can beat a school of a 1500. Gary___? Lowell has a great program i coach fall ball and see allot of their players working hard. the big triple in our game this year was Josh. One week later we sat and watched the cal game a AT&T park with Josh and Andy. The players a cool like that try not to hate. If you do wear it this is Mike Carrasco who are you.

    • Gary says:

      I apologize for my previous comment. I am just a frusturated party that my sons team was upset in the playoffs. Ben is a very talented player and he deserves everything he gets. Too bad he can’t play in the AAA to match up with other great aces like Hau, Arnold, and Tam. Again, my apologies.

      • Jacob G says:

        Lowell and Balboa actually played Stuart Hall. SF Preps even covered the Lowell game. It sucks that everyone is ripping this kid, especially because he wasn’t the one saying he is the best in the league. You can’t take any comments too seriously.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Last time I check Baseball was a team sport.
    Ben didn’t win the championship Stuart Hall did.
    That’s the problem with sports today everyone puts so much on stats and MVP.
    I have a friend that plays with Stuart Hall he should have choose our school and played for
    A coach that points out the team not the individual. Come here next year

    • Anonymous says:

      Baseball is the most individualized team sport you will come across. If a team has one great player in HS, and in a league that is relativiely weak to others, they can succeed. Just look at Galileo and Dylan Nelson the last couple years. I do agree that the team overall is more important than the individual, but just wanted to point out how individualized baseball is.

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