NORTHEAST GLENDALE â€” Scoring 14 runs will do more than please Flintridge Prep baseball Coach Robert â€œBuzzâ€ Cook.
However, there's still a sore spot that's perplexed Cook throughout much of the first month of the season: Deficiencies on defense.
Cook saw two positives occur Friday afternoon during Flintridge Prep's 14-8 Prep League victory against Chadwick at the Glendale Sports Complex. The game was called after the fifth inning because of time limit constrictions imposed by the complex.
Flintridge Prep (4-3, 2-0 in league) committed only one error Friday after making 13 the previous two games against Marshall Fundamental and Webb.
â€œThe thing I'm most excited about is that we only made that one error,â€ said Cook, who estimated that the Rebels have made about 30 errors in the team's first seven contests. â€œI'm not worried about our hitting, but [making one error] gave us a chance to win.
â€œWe were much more settled [Friday].â€
Flintridge Prep starting pitcher Ben Slyngstad (1-1) and Chadwick starter Charlie Madden (1-2) both struggled on the mound. The teams traded runs at a feverish pace with Flintridge Prep holding on to a 7-6 lead through two innings.
Chadwick (4-4, 2-1) got two runs in the first before the Rebels responded with five in the bottom of the inning, capped by run-scoring hits from Slyngstad and Ian Lee-Chang.
The Rebels, who didn't qualify for the playoffs last season after finishing fourth in league, broke the game open in the third.
Senior shortstop Mark Chodas, an all-league pick in football last season after helping the Rebels advance to the postseason, drilled a two-run triple to left on a 1-2 pitch to extend the Rebels' lead to 9-6. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Kyle McDonald.
Chodas said the Rebels, who opened league competition Wednesday with a 10-9 home win against Webb, have excelled with their bats.
â€œI think we have a more balanced lineup this year,â€ said Chodas, who finished with two hits and three runs scored. â€œThere's no real drop off because we can have a good inning and just keep scoring runs.
â€œOn my triple, I had two strikes and I had to swing at whatever [Madden] threw me. The ball just took off.â€
Slyngstad, a sophomore, paced the Rebels with three hits. He scored a pair of runs and reached base safely in all four plate appearances. Center fielder Conor Dubin contributed two hits and one stolen base for Flintridge Prep, which collected 13 hits and scored at least one run in each inning.
The game was called at 6 p.m. because an adult league softball game was scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. The Flintridge Prep-Chadwick game, which was scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m., began about 35 minutes late after Chadwick encountered traffic issues while making the drive from Palos Verdes Peninsula.
â€œWe've always had a curfew here,â€ Cook said.