PBB: Sierra Canyon shuts down Cardinals

RJ Cordeiro - Bishop Diego baseball

Bishop Diego’s starting pitcher RJ Cordeiro threw four scoreless innings to start the game. (Presidio Sports Photo)

 

Sierra Canyon’s Bret Johanneson threw six no-hit innings on Saturday as the Trailblazers posted a 3-0 shutout over Bishop Diego  in an early-season matchup of undefeated teams.

Johanneson had already pitched four innings this week so had to be removed after the sixth inning. Brock Bell pitched the seventh to record the save, but Nolan Tooley broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the final inning on a slow grounder to third base that he barely beat out for an infield hit.

Johanneson, a right-handed senior, threw 58 pitches and got most of his outs on ground balls.

“(He) really didn’t have his best stuff today,” noted Sierra Canyon head coach Rick Weber. “He couldn’t throw an off-speed pitch for a strike but his fastball looked real, real good, and he was spotting it nicely.”

Hitting his spots was something echoed by both Johanneson and Bishop Diego head coach Dan Yokubaitis.

“We were just a little over anxious and he was hitting his spots,” Yokubaitis said. “He wasn’t behind all day; we hit the ball hard a couple of times but…”

Johanneson said he was looking for ground-ball outs and tried to pound the inside part of the strike zone.

“The command on the fastball was really great. I was hitting all my spots inside. I was jamming them,” Johanneson said.

He allowed three baserunners, walking one and hitting two batters.

“To be honest, I didn’t really know they were hitless until like the fourth inning it started registering that, wow, maybe this is the start of something cool,” Johanneson said.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning that he was even in line for the victory as Sierra Canyon’s bats weren’t much louder than Bishop Diego. The Trailblazers won with just two hits, in large part thanks to four errors in the sixth inning when Sierra Canyon scored its three unearned runs.

In that inning, Jake Patterson scored first. Alex Crane, who reached base after a 10-pitch at-bat, brought home the second run, followed by Seth Stone. The inning ended with a hard tag by Tooley – a future NCAA football player – who stood his ground in the basepath on Jake Fried.

There was enough contact that Weber – the third-base coach and stationed near the play – went to escort Fried across the infield as both dugouts cleared without any aggression. But it was enough that the home-plate umpire talked to both coaches after the episode.

“Two boys that both are great kids that just are aggressive players, and they apologized to each other,” Weber said. “I think both of them are terrific athletes and they’re competitors. It was kept under control.”

Johannsen then plunked Bishop Diego’s Anthony Lopez on the first pitch of the bottom half of the inning, causing another warning from the umpire. Tensions disappeared after that as Lopez was erased on a double play and the inning soon ended.

Until that sixth inning, it was a pitching duel with Bishop Diego’s RJ Cordeiro recording four shutout innings to start the game.

“In the last two years, that was one of RJ’s best outings,” Yokubaitis said.

Tooley, the victim of poor defense, pitched the fifth and sixth innings and took the loss even though he didn’t allow an earned run. Catcher Cole Atelian pitched a scoreless seventh.

The Cardinals (3-1) play again on Wednesday. 

Sierra Canyon (4-0) is ranked No. 5 in the pre-season Division-6 CIF polls.

SIERRA CANYON 3, BISHOP DIEGO 0

SC 000 003 0 – 3 2 0
BD 000 000 0 – 0 1 4

SC – Johanneson, Bell (7), and Croft. BD – Cordeiro, Tooley (5), Atelian (7), and Atelian, Shotwell (7).

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