NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Glendale High starting pitcher Jason Marquez was impressive during Friday's Pacific League game against host Hoover.
His counterpart, Orlando Marin of the Tornadoes, proved to be simply better.
Marquez and Marin each struck out 14, but Marin out dueled his Nitro rival, as he limited Glendale to three hits in a complete-game shutout that ended in a 2-0 Hoover victory.
"Both pitchers for both teams competed hard," Hoover Coach Joe Cotti said. "O-Dog worked his rear end off."
The hurlers were overwhelming from the outset.
Marin, who threw 122 pitches, struck out the side in the first inning, allowing just a walk to Dillon Howard. Howard was left at second, and was one of nine Nitro runners to be stranded in the game. Glendale went one for 14 with a runner on base and was 0 for nine with a runner in scoring position.
"[Marin] threw his pitches for strikes," Glendale Coach Jesus Osuna said. "We were just missing it. All of our batters were swinging around the ball, trying to pull the ball.
"We didn't get the job done, period. We were trying to do way too much instead of putting the ball in play."
Marquez, who scattered five hits, walked one and hit two, kept the Nitros (3-7, 1-5 in league) close.
After surrendering a single to Michael Zalin to begin the bottom of the first, Marquez struck out six consecutive Tornadoes.
"He's a strikeout pitcher," Osuna said. "He's our ace. He did his job."
The second inning looked like the Nitro offense was going to do its job, as well.
Glendale loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batsman, all with none out.
It couldn't capitalize.
Marin calmly struck out the next three batters, and didn't reach a three-ball count against any of the hitters.
"I was a little nervous with the bases loaded, but I knew if I hit my spots, I would be OK," Marin said.
By the bottom of the third inning, the Tornadoes (4-10-1, 2-4) finally got to Marquez.
Despite hitting Jonathan Ramos in the back to start the inning, Marquez appeared like he was about to get out of a jam. He struck out the next batter and induced a groundout, leaving Ramos, who had stolen second, stranded. But Hoover's catcher, Thomas Alchermes, who had struck out in the first, hit a single over the second baseman's head, scoring Ramos and giving the Tornadoes a 1-0 lead.
Hoover added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Luis Zamora's infield single scored Marin, who had also reached base after being hit.
Marin didn't let up in the top of the seventh, striking out the first two batters before allowing a single to Howard. Cotti thought about replacing Marin, but, "he'd kill me if I did," the coach joked.
Marin forced a fly out to end the game.
"He's a horse," Cotti said. "He works. He didn't give in. He continued to hit his spots."