It doesn’t take much to swing momentum in a high school baseball game.
In the top of the seventh inning of a one-run game, the Notre Dame Knights thought things were trending in their direction as Ben Griffin led off with a single.
However, Mira Costa’s Jared Karros has developed into something like a momentum stopper. The senior pitcher did just that, striking out the next three batters to wrap up a 2-1 CIF Southern Section Division 1 second-round win for the Mustangs.
“I was definitely a little nervous,” Karros said when the lead-off hitter reached. “I just had to realize that this is what I’ve worked for, all of the time I’ve put in is for this last inning. I slowed myself down and dialed it up.”
Karros allowed one unearned run on four hits and struck out 10 for the Mustangs.
Mira Costa (23-8) will be at La Mirada for the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Knights scratched first against the Mustangs and Karros. In the first inning, Devan Ornelas reached on an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Ornelas took third on a wild pitch and came around to score on a throwing error by Mira Costa catcher Nick Bacura.
Dylan Dennis tied the game in the bottom of the first with his RBI single, scoring Nick Carpino.
In the fourth, Carpino delivered with his RBI single, driving in Jonah Storey, who had led off the inning by being hit with a pitch.
“I thought we swung the bats pretty well, we just couldn’t find a way to push one across,” Mira Costa coach Keith Ramsey said. “I was proud of Nick Carpino … in that situation, you could tell, he really shortened up and just kind of shot the ball and again it’s not how hard you hit the ball, but can you find a hole?”
Notre Dame’s Lucas Gordon brought the Knight fans to their feet in the sixth as he drove a pitch deep to right field, but Storey was there to haul it in for the third out.
“We’re definitely super-excited,” Karros said. “We’re going to give it all we’ve got and compete.”
REDONDO 5, ML KING 1 >>> Liam Critchett, Brett McCauley and Max Zamarripa hit home runs runs and Jake Thau (four innings) and Matthew Dalquist (three) handled the pitching in the Division 2 road win for the Sea Hawks.
Thau allowed one run on two hits and struck out six. Dalquist pitched three shutout innings in relief.
Redondo (23-9) will host Oaks Christian in the quarterfinal Friday.