LA CAÑADA —With San Marino High pitching ace Jeff Bain not in the lineup, the prospects, if not odds, certainly seemed in favor of the La Cañada baseball team at the onset of its Rio Hondo League home game Friday afternoon.
Yet, fortune was not on the side of the Spartans, who ran into a buzz saw in the form of San Marino No. 2 pitcher Miles Glazier.
The junior left-hander was direct with his fastball and economical with his pitch count, which spelled doom for a La Cañada squad that didn’t capitalize on its opportunities and fell, 6-0.
“The difference was we just didn’t get key hits,” Spartans Coach Alex Valadez said. “I thought we pitched well enough to win, but it just didn’t happen.”
San Marino (9-5, 3-1) took a 3-0 lead into the top of the seventh and was in business when three of its first four batters walked to load the bases with one out and left fielder Will Derrick at the dish.
Prior to Derrick’s at-bat, Spartans pitchers had done well tip-toeing out of potentially big innings by keeping the Titans one for 11 with runners in scoring position with a double play and one RBI.
Yet, those stats were moot when Derrick ripped a three-run double to left field that put the visitors up, 6-0, and iced the game.
While the three-run rally certainly put a damper on the Spartans’ comeback chances, La Cañada (9-6, 2-2) was going to have a hard enough time with Glazier, who picked up the shutout by scattering six hits and tossing only 71 pitches.
“San Marino’s pitcher only threw nine curveballs the entire game, so our guy’s aggression at the plate, I feel, was warranted,” Valadez said. “On a couple of occasions, we just hit liners and just missed a big hit.”
La Cañada’s best chance to score may have come in the first inning when Jacob Yonan singled and Johnny Selsor doubled to put runners on second and third with one out.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, Glazier coaxed a lineout to short and fanned the Spartans’ final batter of the inning to escape the jam.
In the third inning, La Cañada’s Justin Lewis singled with two outs and then moved to third on a double from Selsor (two for three with a double and stolen base).
Again, though, the Spartans missed when batter George Steckbeck just got under his pitch and lifted a fly to center for the inning’s final out.
“My fastball was really working and I was able to hit my spots,” Glazier said. “I wasn’t trying to do anything other than to throw strikes.”
The Spartans actually out-hit the Titans, 6-5, but San Marino had a big advantage due to the wildness of Spartans’ pitchers, who walked 12 batters and uncorked four wild pitches, two of which accounted for Titans’ runs.
San Marino’s only other run came in the first on a run-scoring single from Max Warren.
“We didn’t do enough,” said Yonan, who was two for three. “If we’re going to win league, we have to be more consistent on offense.”
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.