Escondido High Coach Bill Kutzner knew he was playing Carlsbad--a team sorely lacking in confidence. So he wanted to ensure the seventh-place Lancers didn’t gain any..
How did Kutzner propose to put them away early?
Keep dropping bunts down until they throw you out.
Carlsbad left-hander Brian Byrne never could as he allowed the first two batters to reach. From there, it was easy. Escondido’s first three hitters scored and the Cougars went on to a 10-2 victory over visiting Carlsbad in an Avocado League game Friday.
First-place Escondido improved to 13-8, 9-1. Carlsbad fell to 8-15, 2-8.
“We talked about what we wanted to do before the game,” Kutzner said. “We knew (Byrne) had trouble with bunts on the right side because he falls off to the left side.”
Leadoff hitter Jason Aguilar couldn’t have made a better bunt as he pushed the ball past Byrne and short of second baseman Ryan Anderson. By the time Anderson reached the ball, Aguilar was within a few feet of first base.
Jeff Nessler, the second batter, didn’t lay down a perfect bunt, but it got the job done. He bunted a chopper right at Byrne, but Byrne attempted to get Aguilar at second and was late with his throw.
Nick Terrazas followed with a hit-and-run double down the right-field line to score Aguilar. Mike Frank singled up the middle to score Nessler and Vu Dang knocked in Terrazas with a sharp single to right for the Cougars third run.
And the rout was on.
“It’s tough to be where Carlsbad is, near the bottom of the league,” Kutzner said. “We wanted to get a lead, somehow.”
Escondido scored another run in the second on singles by Aguilar, Nessler and Terrazas.
Carlsbad had plenty of chances to score, but rarely took advantage of them. The Lancers left nine runners on base in the first four innings and had two runners thrown out at the plate.
Byrne sacrificed himself for Carlsbad’s first run. With the bases loaded in the third inning, he took a curve ball in the leg without flinching. Dominic Rivera’s ground out gave Carlsbad its second run.
Escondido scored twice in the fourth on two walks, a hit batsmen and a Terrazas RBI single. It scored four times in the fifth on just two hits.
Terrazas finished four for four with four RBIs.
“I’ve always dreamed of going four for four,” he said. “This feels real good.”