By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
ARCADIA — A mere KJ Edson sighting gives the Arcadia High School baseball team a considerable advantage, but when the Apaches produce three runs right off the bat in the first inning, the result becomes all but official.
Arcadia wasted no time building an early lead, and it was all the run support Edson needed as he allowed just one hit in six innings pitched to lead the Apaches to a 6-0 Pacific League win over Pasadena on Wednesday.
Edson’s lone hit came off of Pasadena’s Chris Rucker, whose line drive bounced off of third base and out of Arcadia third baseman Drew Klein’s reach. Edson was in command from that point on as 12 of the 18 outs were on ground outs. In two games against Pasadena, Edson’s thrown 13 shutout innings and allowed just four hits.
Arcadia (20-3, 11-0) extended its impressive league win streak to 27 thanks to a productive first inning in which the Apaches were able to cash in three runs on three hits and an error.
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“That’s huge especially for a guy on the mound like KJ to be pitching with the lead,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “He’s confident with himself whether it’s 0-0 or 3-0, but it’s obviously a lot more relaxing if you have a bit of a cushion.”
Pasadena coach Mike Parisi said there was a noticable let down after digging an early hole.
“I think we had some guys who may have let up at times and didn’t compete the whole seven innings,” Parisi said, “which is a shame because we’re pretty good at doing that. So that’s a reflection on me.”
Pasadena (15-8-1, 7-4) commited two errors, but the first one that came to the second batter in the first inning proved to have a domino effect.
Klein hit a grounder to the shortstop, but the throw was high and not in time. Haram Park was hit by a pitch on the first pitch he saw from Pasadena pitcher Ives Brown. That put runners on first and second with one out and Brendan Campbell to the plate. The senior catcher connected on an 1-0 count for an RBI single to right field to give the Apaches a 2-0 lead.
George Papavasiliou connected on the first pitch for an RBI single through the third base-shortstop hole to score Cambell, who sprinted all the way home from second to make it 3-0.
Brown gave up four earned runs in four innings pitched for the Bulldogs and was relieved by Angelo Robledo, who gave up two earned runs in the sixth on four hits.
Campbell was at it again with leadoff single up the middle in the sixth. Erik Trask, who came in relief in the seventh for Edson, connected on an RBI double to score courtesy runner Jeff Kim. Papavasiliou’s RBI single scored courtesy runner Justin Lew to cap the Apaches’ scoring.
Arcadia finished with nine hits, but it was early run production that became Pasadena’s ultimate demise.
“Three runs in the first inning the way we were swinging would demoralize a team,” Lemas said. “It would demoralize me. It wouldn’t make me feel defeated. You still have to keep fighitng, and I think they kept fighting. We had to keep tacking on runs. By the last inning it felt pretty comfortable where we were at.”
Pasadena 000 000 0 — 0 1 2
Arcadia 301 002 X — 6 9 1
Ives Brown, Angelo Robledo (5) and Edwardo Quiroz; KJ Edson, Erik Trask and Brendan Campbell.
2B: Campbell (Arc), Trask. W: Edson (9-1). L: Brown.
Records: Pasadena 15-8-1, 7-4; Arcadia 20-3, 11-0.