Katella’s “other pitcher,” Jason Stockstill, was aided by a couple of key defensive plays in the late innings of a 3-0 victory over visiting Loara in an Empire League game Friday at Boysen Park in Anaheim.
Stockstill (6-3), a junior left hander who has pitched in the shadow of senior Jaret Wright this season, gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked one to pitch the Knights (13-8-1, 7-4 in league) into sole possession of second place, behind El Dorado.
“Everyone looks at Jaret and he’s a great pitcher,” Katella Coach Tim McMenamin said. “But Stockstill has done a good job for us this year. He came out focused today and kept it the whole game. He also had some luck.”
That luck came in the Loara sixth after base hits by Carson Crucil and Chris Cramer. Katella left fielder Drake Gustafson then made an over-the-shoulder catch of Chris Carillo’s line drive deep in left, and Stockstill got Jason Hoffman and Mike Boomsma to fly out, ending the threat.
“That was the big play of the game,” McMenamin said. “That ball looked like it was over (Gustafson’s) head for sure, and they would have had two runs.”
Katella second baseman Jae Park thwarted the Saxons in the seventh when he caught pinch hitter Jimmy Kirkland’s liner and doubled Ean Brown off first.
Geoff Burgueno drove in the first Katella run with a fly deep to right in the second. The Knight’s added two more in the third on Wright’s double, David Rojo’s triple to left and Stockstill’s suicide squeeze bunt, scoring Rojo from third.