How could this be?
Shaun Vetrovec, the standout pitcher for Newport Harbor High's baseball team, became stronger as the innings wore on. In the seventh inning, the pitcher bound for UCI Irvine appeared at his best, determined to be a big reason the Sailors were able to earn a much-needed Sunset League win.
Vetrovec delivered. His complete-game gem, that featured 11 strikeouts, two walks and three hits, helped the Tars score a 3-1 victory against Edison at Newport Harbor on Friday.
"That's just adrenaline," he said of his ability to increase his velocity in the final inning. "You're up and you just try to do everything you can to help your team win. If that's throwing as hard as you can, that's what you do."
Vetrovec said it felt great to pitch with a lead, as the Sailors scored three runs in the bottom of the first. Vetrovec, who had two hits, produced an RBI single that scored Connor Seabold. Vetrovec later scored after a wild pitch.
"He's a tremendous competitor," Newport Harbor Coach Evan Chalmers said of Vetrovec. "When we're close, or when we're leading he wants to be the guy. That's what we talk about as a team, living in the moment. Wanting to perform. Not thinking about everything else, but just about the moment. Shaun is one of those guys who lives in the moment. If I'm voting I'm thinking he's the best pitcher in the league. He's the guy we like up there."
The Sailors also have a valuable pitcher in Seabold, who is bound for Cal State Fullerton. They had just been needing to score runs. They got three in the first inning, as Tk McWhertor also scored after a ball four pass ball.
Chalmers didn't care how the runs came, he was just grateful for them. He told his Sailors they needed to win four of their last seven regular-season games to have any chance for the playoffs. Now it's down to three.
Newport Harbor will have a tough series next week, for sure, as the Tars play against Fountain Valley, which is in first place in the Sunset League.