Moors’ pitcher unhittable in 4-0 win
Alhambra pitcher Noe Ramirez collected his second no-hitter of his high school career in a 4-0 win over San Gabriel at Moor Field. Ramirez allowed just three baserunners, two off passed balls on strikeouts, and one on a hit-batter.
Above: Alhambra pitcher Noe Ramirez during the Moors’ 4-0 win over San Gabriel.
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
ALHAMBRA – After dropping a 15-0 decision to Alhambra on Tuesday, the San Gabriel High School baseball team already knew it was in for another tough test when the teams met again Friday at Moor Field.
But when the Moors’ Noe Ramirez stuck out four batters in the second inning, things went from tough to almost insurmountable for the Matadors.
That’s because Ramirez was unhittable.
The Cal State Fullerton-bound right-hander dominated San Gabriel batters all day while posting 16 strikeouts and collecting his second career no-hitter in a 4-0 victory.
“I mixed my pitches well, my speed was on today and I just had to hit my spots and the strikeouts would come,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez (5-0) consistently was well ahead of the Matadors hitters and didn’t allow a ball out of the infield en route to the 23rd no-hitter in Alhambra history. His 16 strikeouts were just two shy of the school record set by Dan Larson in nine innings during the 1971 CIF quarterfinals against Buena.
“From the first pitch, I just had it going and I felt great,” said Ramirez, who had a 17-strikeout performance last season.
Just three Matadors reached base against Ramirez, two on passed balls following a strikeout and one on a hit batter.
“Today he had good stuff and his curveball was really on, and I had bruised up my hand, so I had a hard time protecting. So that ended up padding his numbers in the end and gave him two extra Ks,” Alhambra catcher Rob Olivarez said.
Added Alhambra coach Steve Gewecke: “Noe’s velocity has gotten better, plus he knows how to pitch.”
Besides being overpowering on the mound, Ramirez snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning off San Gabriel starter Michael Varela (0-3), who hung tough before the Moors (13-1, 7-0), the top-ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section Division III rankings, scored four runs in the sixth inning.
Varela allowed just four hits and struck in the tough-luck loss.
“Alhambra’s a team I need to bring my `A’ game to, so I prepared all day to get ready,” Varela said. “I was trying to keep them off-balance with all of my off-speeds.”
Added Gewecke, “He competes, and I told him after the game that he deserved better.”
Alhambra took advantage of the game’s only error that allowed Olivarez to reach first leading off the sixth. Cody Heaton walked, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
San Gabriel (3-9, 2-5) opted not to intentionally walk Ramirez and the senior hit a 3-1 pitch the opposite way to right field to give the Moors a 2-0 lead.
“I was expecting an off-speed pitch and I just took it the other way,” Ramirez said.
Chris Rosario hit a line-drive, two-run double to left-center to cap the scoring.
“Michael pitched a helluva game, and it’s too bad the way he lost it,” San Gabriel coach Matt Gerovac said. “It was a great piece of hitting and I want everyone to know about Michael Varela.”
After his team had little trouble on Tuesday, Gewecke was impressed with how the Matadors came out Friday.
“It’s hard to come back from a 15-0 loss and (Gerovac) had them ready to play and that’s a credit to him and his coaching staff,” Gewecke said.
Alhambra has won 12 consecutive games. The Moors have a chance to set a school record for most consecutive wins with a sweep against Beverly Hills in a doubleheader today beginning at 11 a.m.