The Chatsworth High baseball team parlayed dominant pitching, strong defense and timely hitting into an 11-0 win over Carson in a first-round game of the City Section 4-A Division baseball playoffs Wednesday at Chatsworth.
The win was Chatsworth's ninth in a row and moves the Chancellors (18-6-1) into a quarterfinal game Friday against Poly, an 8-6 winner over Palisades.
Brandon Nickens (6-2) threw a one-hitter to post his second consecutive shutout. The junior right-hander had a no-hitter through 3 1/3 innings before designated-hitter Cedric Hill lined a single to left. Nickens finished with four strikeouts and three walks.
As for the defense, well, let Nickens speak for that.
"I didn't have to do that much today," he said. "(The defense) just made all the plays behind me."
But it was on offense that Chatsworth really made noise, pounding out 14 hits. After collecting just one hit through three innings, the defending 4-A Division champion sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth inning and shelled Colt starter Marco Martinez (4-3) for four runs on four hits. Jeff Johnson eventually came on to get the final out of the inning.
Carson (13-9), digging deeper into its bullpen, used two more pitchers but to no avail. Chatsworth scored two runs on three hits in the fifth inning and five runs on six hits in the sixth.
Left fielder Mitch Root, who entered Wednesday's game with a team-leading .481 batting average, went four for four--all singles--to lead Chatsworth.
"I knew I was going to get a lot of curveballs so that's what I looked for," said Root, who scored three runs and knocked in another.
Carson's only two offensive chances fizzled quickly.
Hill's base hit in the fourth was wasted when he rounded first base and was tagged out by second baseman Nestor Martinez after being caught in a rundown.
In the Carson sixth, David Mauney led off with a high fly to Scott Carpenter in right. Carpenter dropped the ball near the foul line for an error but recovered and gunned down Mauney at second.