Mt. Carmel Puts Away RBV, 17-1

Seventeen to one.

That was the score of the big showdown, the game matching good-hitting, ultra-quick Rancho Buena Vista against the good pitching and defense of Mt. Carmel.

But it was the visiting Sundevils, defending Palomar League champions, who batted for 25 minutes in the top of the first, scored seven unearned runs and ran away with a 17-1 victory.

This was the year that Mt. Carmel wasn't going to batter opponents, the year it gave up on waiting around for the eight- or nine-run inning.

Friday, the Sundevils did not wait, either. They sent 11 batters to the plate in the first and scored all seven runs after two were out and a costly throwing error allowed the first to cross the plate. Six consecutive hits followed, including a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Andy Owen and a triple by leadoff batter John Moon on his second at-bat.

It was a stark contrast to Mt. Carmel's previous victory, 1-0 over Orange Glen, which came when the winning run was walked in in the bottom of the seventh.

"This year we had to change our style," Mt. Carmel Coach Sam Blalock said. "This year, we've had to play for one run, but we've shown flashes like this, when we come out and pop you."

And the third-ranked Sundevils did a good job of popping RBV, which has lost five of its past six and dropped to 9-9, 4-2 in league.

The big bopper for the Sundevils was Chris Chavez, who hit two two-run homers and finished the day with four hits and five RBIs.

Armando Sanchez had three hits and three RBIs, and Andy Panganiban added three singles in the 22-hit attack.

"This was our team at its best," Chavez said. "Right now, we're young and inconsistent."

Inconsistent? The Sundevils are 15-3, 4-0 in league play. And they're doing it despite having only two returning players. One is catcher Matt Miller, who went one for four with an RBI and was the only starter not to collect at least two hits. The other is pitcher Doug Hill, who is 5-1 after allowing two hits through five innings against RBV. He wasn't sharp, walking five and hitting another batter, but he didn't have to be.

"That first inning wrapped it up," RBV Coach Steve Hargrave said. "Against a team the caliber of Mt. Carmel, if you give them seven unearned runs, you're in trouble. Heck, if you give them one or two runs, you're in trouble."

Hargrave started George Hadden Friday because Hadden is the best breaking-ball pitcher on his staff.

"I've heard that Mt. Carmel didn't hit the ball very well," Hargrave said. "It looked to me like they hit the ball pretty well."

Hadden (2-3) retired just two batters before giving way to Stan McCarver, who allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings.

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