By Jeremy Balan
The University High School baseball team scored four unanswered runs in the final 3 1/2 innings against Stuart Hall on Friday at Moscone Recreation Center, but the game was decided well before then.
The Red Devils spotted the defending Bay Counties League West champions nine runs in the first four innings, several off five University errors, and Stuart Hall cruised to a 9-4 win.
“We’ve made 22 errors in four games and you can’t win like that,” said University head coach Gary Johnson. “We were in the driver’s seat [in league play]. We were right where we wanted to be, but in the end we earned our defeat.”
The errors, which all came in the first three innings, combined with notoriously bad field conditions at Moscone, caused five of the nine total runs allowed by University starter Andrew Thompson to be unearned. The Knights (5-4, 2-0) didn’t shy away from putting the ball in play and also collected eight hits, led by two apiece from seniors Will Campbell and Alex Asdourian, as well as freshman Stephen Everest.
“Especially on a field that is known for taking bad hops, we wanted to put the ball in play and make the defense make the plays,” said Stuart Hall head coach Eddie Russell. “They did a good job with that, put runners on base and got big hits when we needed them.”
Everest was also the starting pitcher for the Knights and threw six innings on just 76 pitches, mostly using a accurate and active cutter that drew contact from the University bats. Everest didn’t strike out any University batters, but moved the ball just enough to get consistent outs.
“I can’t tell you about my pitch calling sequences, but his fastball moves so much, we’re confident with him throwing that pitch,” Russell said. “He locates and he has movement, and that’s all he needs to do to be successful at this level.”
Everest was removed for the seventh and reliever Harry Conrad ran into trouble in the final inning, loading the bases without recording an out.
Standout junior Ben Carrasco, who started against the Red Devils earlier in the week, came to the rescue and closed the game out with two strikeouts, but did allow two inherited runners to score.
“Ben would pitch every day if I let him,” Russell said. “Whenever there’s an opportunity, he wants the ball.”
The win, combined with Lick-Wilmerding’s loss to Urban on Friday, makes the Knights the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, but they have played two fewer games than the rest of the league due to a late spring break.
University (7-4, 3-2) will look to make up ground with a rescheduled rainout game against Marin Academy and a final series with Lick, but will need the Knights to lose three more games for a chance retake first place, where the Red Devils were before the week started.
“This is not about the other teams. This is about us,” Johnson said. “It’s not about hoping what some other teams do. We have to worry about ourselves and we won’t be looking for someone else to handle our business.”
SH – Daniel Costa reaches on an error, Stephen Everest scores
SH – Harry Conrad hits a sacrifice fly, Costa scores
SH – Will Campbell singles, Ben Carrasco scores
SH – Costa reaches on an error, George Wisniewski scores
SH – Carrasco singles, Costa scores
SH – Declan Ebeling reaches on an error, Alex Asdourian scores
SH – Everest doubles, Campbell and Wisniewski score
SH – Campbell singles, Asdourian scores
U – John O’Malley doubles, John Schember scores
U – Josiah Corbus singles, O’Malley scores
U – Stephen Nemy singles, Warren Benevides scores
U – O’Malley grounds out, Alexander Indick scores