PBB: Craven, Chargers limit Royals

Travis Craven - Dos Pueblos

Dos Pueblos junior Travis Craven tossed a one-hitter on Tuesday. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Dos Pueblos junior Travis Craven was near perfect for six innings on Tuesday and the Chargers picked up the victory they needed  by defeating visiting San Marcos, 4-1.

Craven allowed one hit and one unearned run in the top of the fourth inning but otherwise kept the Royals off the basepaths. The junior lefty breezed through six innings making 74 pitches. He struck out five and was pulled before the seventh after experiencing some cramping in his throwing arm.

“What a great outing from him,” said Chargers head coach Nick Katzenstein. “He got a lot of groundballs and we played good defense behind him with the exception of the one (error).”

Austin Bull finished the one-hitter in the seventh inning and earned the save.

Dos Pueblos needed a victory to stay in contention for a league championship. Now sitting at 7-4, the Chargers were helped by Ventura’s win over Buena, which fell to 5-4.

The Royals, on the other hand, have struggled to find victories in Channel League play this season, falling to 1-8.  Aside from 5-1 and 7-1 losses to Buena, every single one of San Marcos’ losses in league have come by three runs or less.

San Marcos’ Austin Ricci gave the Royals a strong pitching performance but was hurt by three unearned runs. Ricci never gave up an RBI hit as the Chargers scored three of their runs on sacrifice flys and the other on a bobbled ball in the outfield.

Royals head coach Jacob Pepper is hoping his team can turn a corner over its final three contests.

“We spend a lot of time doing all the things we need to do defensively in practice and in our preparation. We have guys that just need to come out and make plays,” Pepper said. “We do have youth out there and that lack of experience will sometimes cause them to play a little tight, to not play the way they normally can play.”

Dos Pueblos took the game’s first lead with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. An infield fielding error allowed the Chargers to load the bases with no out. Dustin Demeter’s sacrifice fly plated Craven, putting DP up 1-0. A balk moved the remaining baserunners into scoring position, setting up Luke Coffey’s RBI sac fly that scored Michael Boelter.

Blake Katsev scored San Marcos’ run in the top of the fourth inning. Katsev reached base on an error and was moved to third base on San Marcos’ only hit of the day by Derek Zylstra. Katsev reached home on a balk.

The Chargers added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Boelter got on base on a single and scored on a double by Demeter. The hit was mishandled in the outfield allowing Boelter to score from first base. Coffey then scored Demeter on his second sacrifice fly of the game.

Craven, who made his longest start of the season, brushed off the injury after the game. It was noticeable enough that Katzenstein made an injury visit to the mound.

“A little fatigue there at the end. I cramped up a little bit,” Craven said. “Last pitch didn’t cramp so… went down to the bullpen after the sixth and it felt better so I’ll be good.”

Dos Pueblos travels to San Marcos on Friday next.

Linescore:

SM 000 100 0 – 1 1 3
DP 002 020 x – 4 5 1

Craven, Bull (7), and Noggle. Ricci, and Zylstra.

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