Templeton 5-2 to start season
The Templeton Eagles baseball team hosted a pair of games this weekend, with a Friday afternoon matchup against Carmel followed by a Saturday morning game against Santa Maria. The Eagles split the two games falling on Friday 10-3 and coming from behind for a thrilling 2-1 victory Saturday.
The two games this past weekend were the final two games of the Eagles’ successful seven-game nonleague preseason schedule. Throughout the first month of the season, Templeton is 5-2 and prepared to take on the difficult Mountain League, beginning with a three-game series against San Luis Obispo Wednesday, Apr. 14. Templeton will host the Tigers on Wednesday and then play a doubleheader in San Luis Obispo on Saturday.
Friday night was the first time all season a game got away from the Eagles as Carmel jumped out to an early 5-0 lead through two innings and eventually went up 9-0 before Templeton was able to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Offensively, the Eagles were off-balance throughout the game as the Carmel starting pitcher was very effective with his offspeed pitches. Templeton hitters were way out in front of the ball on many occasions, which led to popups and routine groundouts.
Mark Hall got the start on the bump for the guys in green but struggled early to find his command issuing five walks (three walks, two hit batters) in the first two innings. After a rough start, Hall settled in and only allowed one more run after the second. Hall has been one of the Eagles’ top starters this season and last and took out his frustration at the plate, recording two hits and the lone RBI, one of only two Eagles to record multiple hits along with Julian Kirchenstein.
Following Hall’s four innings, Gavin Platt entered the game for Templeton and struck out five of the nine batters he faced giving up two earned runs on four hits.
Saturday morning, Templeton’s ace Robbie Lardner was on the mound and pitched an absolute gem against the Santa Maria Saints. Lardner surrendered only six hits and a single earned run in a complete game, and the Eagles needed every bit of it. The game remained in a scoreless tie until the fifth inning, when each team added a single run.
Templeton scored in the home half of the fifth, playing smart baseball with a bit of help from the Saints. Senior and co-captain Trent Wills reached base to start the inning thanks to a throwing error from the Saints pitcher. Wills would reach second base on a Kiko Barroso sacrifice bunt and then third on a Lardner double to left field. Senior Gavin Tabor would drive in the run in the next at-bat on a sacrifice fly to right field, and once again, the game was tied, this time at one apiece.
The game was still tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, and again, Wills delivered. With one out and full count, Wills slapped a ball into left field and flew around the bases for a triple. Barroso was next into the box and took the first pitch he saw for a ride over the second baseman’s head, giving the Eagles the win in dramatic fashion.
Templeton will face San Luis Obispo, Atascadero and Arroyo Grande in the first three series of the league season.