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Panthers beat up on Swett

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday May 24, 2001

Panthers beat up on Swett 


Anthony Miyawaki wasn’t going to lose this game. No sir. 

“I had to make sure I got one NCS win under my belt before I left,” Miyawaki said after throwing a 12-6, complete game win against John Swett in the first round of the North Coast Section 2A East Bay playoffs on Wednesday. Miyawaki started first-round NCS games the past two years, and the Panthers lost both of them. In fact, Wednesday’s win was the first NCS victory for any of the St. Mary’s players, as the team’s last regional win was the year before this season’s seniors arrived. 

The funny thing is, none of the Panthers even expected to make the playoffs. After slumping badly to end the BSAL regular season, the Panthers lost in the first round of league playoffs. Head coach Andy Shimabukuro was so sure his team would be staying home, he collected the uniforms and put them away for next season. 

“We turned in our uniforms last week, but I talked to the other coaches in the division, and they said we would get in,” Shimabukuro said. “But the teams are all pretty even, so I think if we can get by the next game (against top-seeded Moreau) we’ve got a good shot at going all the way.” 

The Panthers took care of Wednesday’s game at the plate, smacking 12 hits and putting up at least two runs in four different innings. They were helped by four errors by Swett third baseman Mike Detomasi, including two straight with two outs in the fourth that led to three unearned runs in the inning. 

But the real damage was done the inning before, as Swett started Steven Dellacruz loaded the bases with two singles and a hit batsman with no outs. St. Mary’s cleanup hitter Chris Alfert slammed a double over the centerfielder’s head, scoring two runs. After designated hitter Joe Storno walked to re-load the bases, Miyawaki and Chase Moore hit RBI singles. Greg Marshall, who hit a two-run single in the second to open his team’s scoring, hit into a double play, scoring Storno for a 7-4 Panther lead. 

“We lost our last two games because we scored one run in the last 11 innings,” Shimabukuro said. “But we worked on our situational hitting this week, and it came through for us today.” 

The Panthers weren’t much better in the field than their opponents, committing five errors of their own, and four of Swett’s runs were unearned. But while Miyawaki didn’t have the prettiest pitching line, he got out of several jams with minimal damage. The senior said he is much more relaxed on the mound this year, which has helped him be more focused. 

“In the last couple of years, I would complain when guys made errors behind me,” he said. “Now I just let it go and concentrate on getting the next guy.” 

Miyawaki threw more than 120 pitches in the game, many of them curveballs, a pitch he hasn’t used much this season. 

“The other coaches told the pitching coach I wasn’t using my curve enough,” he said. “I’ve been using my changeup more this year, but we switched back to the curve today, and I guess it worked.” 

Miyawaki made another last-minute change going into Wednesday’s game. He was fooling around with some teammates, imitating their swings, and he decided to use a more closed stance with a pronounced leg kick at the plate. It worked, as he went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. When he was asked what his coaches thought of his chameleon act just as the playoffs are starting, he laughed. 

“It was all just for fun,” he said. “The coaches trust the leaders of this team.”