GLENDALE — For five innings of their nonleague game Wednesday, the Flintridge Prep and Bellarmine-Jefferson baseball teams were embroiled in a tight contest.
Rebels starting pitcher Brenden McKiernan and his Guards counterpart, Christian Galindo, were involved in a tight matchup that had Flintridge Prep clinging to a one-run lead.
However, the Bell-Jeff freshman hurler started to tire in the sixth inning and his defense began to falter behind him. That opened the door for the Rebels, who pushed across nine runs in the frame and were able to notch an 11-1 mercy-rule victory at the Glendale Sports Complex. program,” Gonzalez said. “They have really been working hard and we have been able to get the results on the field.”
The going hasn’t been as smooth for Bell-Jeff Coach Marty Marquardt, who is also in his first year with the program. The Guards are 0-7 and have had to deal with 10-run mercy rules in all but one contest.
“Our guys are out there playing hard and I have to give that to them,” Marquardt said. “I would like to see a little more enthusiasm out of them, but they’re going to be fine. Hopefully when they get the feeling of what a win is like they’ll get hungry for it and they’ll want more of it.”
Holding on to a 2-1 lead, the Rebels embarked on a sixth inning that broke the backs of the Guards. Flintridge Prep scored nine runs in the frame off of seven hits, including five for extra bases. Bell-Jeff also didn’t help its cause in the frame by committing four errors.
While the Bell-Jeff pitching wilted late in the game, the same can’t be said for McKiernan, who went the distance to notch his second complete-game win of the season. Along with allowing just one run, the junior also gave up just three hits and struck out eight in an 84-pitch effort.
“My curveball was working pretty well today,” McKiernan said. “Me as a pitcher, I don’t normally strike a lot of people out, so I rely a lot on my guys on defense to help me out. It’s nice to have those guys behind me.”
Cole Rademaker was two for four with two doubles, two runs batted in and two runs scored for the Rebels.
Flintridge Prep struck first with a run in the second inning. Daniel Enzminger reached base on an error and scored on an error on a fly ball to center field.
But Bell-Jeff battled back and tied the score at 1 with a run in the third. Aldolfo Bermeo singled to right field, stole second and came around on a single to right-center by Ryan Okiishi (two for three).
The Rebels made it 2-1 in their half of the third when Rademaker doubled and scored on two consecutive Bell-Jeff errors.
“We were just not being patient in those early innings,” Gonzalez said. “But we started hitting late in the game and we were able to come out of it.”