Bearcats’ Carrera tames Panthers in Padilla Tournament game

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Bearcat pitcher Alex Carrera takes the mound. (Andrew Luberda photo)

By Andrew Luberda

Bearcats left-handed starter Alex Carrera pitched a complete game in 10-2 victory over the Superior Panthers. The Bearcats and Panthers squared off in the Joe S. Padilla Tournament at Florence High School.

The Bearcats offense scored in each of the first three innings, including four runs in the first. Carrera took the mound with a 4-0 lead, which was more than he needed. Pounding the strike zone was a key to his strong performance.

“First pitch strike. I [had to] establish it,” Carrera said. “First pitch strike and do whatever coach told me to.”

Bearcats coach, Rene Pacheco, was pleased with Carrera’s performance despite one tough stretch in the fifth inning.

“At first he was pretty dominant, then towards late in the game when we wanted him to close the game down, he was struggling finding the strike zone,” Pacheco said. “But what was nice about him is he regrouped and had a strong finish at the end.”

The offense was equally as dominant against the Panthers’ pitchers. Shortstop Dominic Bravo led the offensive attack with two triples in the game. While he looked to be in midseason form, Bravo only recently joined the team.

“I just waited for my pitch and stayed in the zone like coach told me,” Bravo said.

“Dominic’s been on the baseball field for one week,” Pacheco said. “He’s had four practices and played in four games in the last week. Dominic is starting out hot.”

After scoring two runs in the second inning, the Bearcats scored two more runs in the third. Seth Harmon started the inning with a double and advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Adam Stonecipher followed with a walk. Johnny Wernett was next and hit a 2-RBI double, scoring Harmon and Stonecipher.

Leading 8-0 after three innings, Carrera surrendered his first run of the game in the fourth as the Panthers scored on a passed ball.

The Bearcats capped off their scoring with two run in the fifth. Again Harmon led off the inning and reached on an error. Stonecipher walked but eventually was picked off on a quick move by Panthers’ pitcher Ceasar Villalobos. Brandon Acevedo singled to score Harmon. Dominic Bravo finished the Bearcats scoring with his second triple of the game, driving in Acevedo.

The Panthers plated their final run of the game as Carrera experienced some trouble in the fifth. The Panthers led off the inning by reaching on an error. The next batter, Caesar Villalobos, reached on a HBP. Following a flyout and strikeout, the Panthers scored their final run of the game after the Bearcats second error of the inning.

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