Tully throws five-inning shutout, strikes out eight to end St. Mary’s losing streak
The St. Mary’s baseball team went into Thursday’s game against Redwood Christian at the low point of their season. The Panthers had lost all three games at the San Marin Tournament earlier in the week, and most of the players were hurting in some fashion.
But nothing cures a team’s ills like a blowout win, and that’s just what St. Mary’s got, a 14-0 whipping of the visiting Wildcats. Even more importantly, the Panthers may have found a little pitching help.
Freshman Scott Tully, fresh from the junior varsity roster, threw five scoreless innings for the win, giving up just one hit and two walks while striking out eight. While Redwood Christian isn’t quite at the level of future BSAL opponents, Tully showed the ability to throw strikes, field his position and take some pressure off of the woefully thin pitching staff.
“(Tully) was pretty good today,” St. Mary’s head coach Andy Shimabukuro said. “He’s going to stay up with us. If he just shows a little better command, he should be fine at the varsity level.”
Shimabukuro left the door open to making Tully his second starter, behind workhorse Joe Storno, but the freshman will likely pitch in relief for the time being. With two pitchers likely out for the year and little varsity experience left on the staff, Tully could be an important cog in the team’s success.
Tully showed poise on the mound and wasn’t afraid to let the Wildcats hit the ball, experiencing just one rough inning, loading the bases with one out in the third on two walks and a hit batsman. But he bore down and struck out the next batter, then got Ryan Dole to ground out to end the inning.
“I felt pretty comfortable. It’s nice to play with better defense behind you because you have more confidence,” Tully said. “Hopefully I can continue to pitch well and help the team.”
If the Panthers continue to hit like they did on Thursday, it won’t take much to get the pitching staff some more victories. St. Mary’s batted around in each of the first three innings, scoring 12 runs before Shimabukuro began removing his weary starters. Tom Carmen did the most damage with two bases-loaded blasts, the first a double in the second inning followed by a triple in the third, for six RBIs on the day. Chris Morocco, hitting in the leadoff spot, chimed in with three hits, including two doubles, and three runs. Storno had a two-run double in the first inning and two sacrifice flies, totalling four RBIs. All this production was even more pleasing because it came with regular cleanup hitter Chris Alfert on the bench with a shoulder injury. Alfert, along with centerfielder Chase Moore, had been carrying the team with their bats for much of the early season.
“I think we have a really good lineup all the way through,” Carman said. “Once we get everyone going, we’ll put up some big numbers.”
Thursday’s win also continued the Panthers’ strong play at home, upping their record to 6-2 on their own field, including their first two BSAL games, both wins. They are just 1-7 on the road, however, including their three losses at San Marin.
“We just seem to swing the bat better here,” Shimabukuro said. “I can’t explain it.”
The Panthers will try to shake their road woes on Wednesday when they travel to BSAL favorite Salesian. With Storno on the mound and a week of rest, that game will be their only regular-season shot at the Chieftans.
“We’re just getting ready for Salesian, and this was a good way to finish the week,” Carman said.