Asked before Friday's game against Alemany High who his pitcher would be, Crespi Coach Scott Muckey, without looking up, muttered, "Who do you think?"
The inquirer nodded and, half to himself, asked, "Again?"
Muckey looked up and smiled. "Yeah, his twin brother pitched a pretty good game the other day, huh?"
Indeed. The punch line is, Dan Carroll has no twin. He might have a twin arm , but no twin brother.
Carroll, who has started Crespi's past nine Del Rey League games, pitched a complete-game six-hitter to defeat Alemany, 7-4, at Valley College. The Celts, who resurrected their league season from the ashes of a 1-4 start, won their final seven Del Rey games to become co-champions with Notre Dame, which defeated St. John Bosco, 11-2, Friday. Both teams are 8-4 in league play.
The loss eliminated Alemany (15-11, 6-6 in league play) from Southern Section 5-A Division playoff consideration. Loyola, which defeated Bosco Tech on Friday, 12-3, is the league's third-place representative. Crespi, which won an earlier coin flip, is the league's No. 1 representative.
Crespi's Marathon Dan (11-2) pitched complete-game victories last Friday against St. Francis and Tuesday against Loyola. Then he went five innings for the win Wednesday against Bosco Tech.
"I'm tired," Carroll said after he pitched out of several jams, including a bases-loaded mess in the seventh, and threw 126 pitches. "But I'm not real tired."
To make things comfortable for Carroll, the Celts (16-9) scored three first-inning runs against Alemany starter Charlie Winner. Chad Nichols led off with a single to right field and Ken Franco reached on an error.
With left-handed batter John Dempsey coming to the plate, Alemany Coach Jim Ozella brought in lefty Joey Rosselli, who got Dempsey to pop into a double play on a sacrifice attempt. Winner returned and walked Greg Barton before Mark Cavaretta doubled home two runs. Don Calabria doubled to score Cavaretta.
Alemany tied the score, 3-3, in the fourth. Mark Scott singled home a run, Rosselli swatted a scoring fly ball and Greg Biley doubled in a run.
But Cavaretta buried the Indians in the fifth. With one out and the bases loaded, he drilled a 1-and-1 fastball from Winner into the gap in right-center field for a double that gave Crespi a 6-3 lead.
The Celts scored again in the sixth on Eric Berg's RBI single and Alemany answered with one in the seventh--a run-scoring single by Mike Sims.
Crespi's championship, shared or otherwise, is its second in a row.
"I'm really proud of our guys," Muckey said moments before being on the receiving end of a barrel full of ice water. "When we were 1-4 we were just looking for a playoff berth. There's nothing more I can say, except, 'How 'bout that Carroll boy?' "
To which most league coaches probably would respond, "Which one?"