Alvarez gets it done for Cal with his ‘B’ stuff

Even without his best effort of the season, Cal High junior right-hander Daniel Alvarez led the Condors to a 3-1 victory Wednesday over rival La Serna that clinched the Del Rio League crown. Despite leaving a few pitches up the strike zone that were hit hard, Alvarez held the Lancers to three hits and struck out four over seven innings on a brutally hot day.
“He grinded it out,” Cal coach Tony Nieto said of his ace. “He had his ‘B’ stuff today … but when he needed big outs, he got big outs and threw all his pitches for strikes. That’s the reason we left him out there.”
Nieto had reliever Jerald Johnston warming up in the seventh, but Alvarez retired the side in order. In fact, he set down the last eight batters he faced and nine of the final 10.
The only really well-hit ball in the late innings came off the bat of La Serna second baseman Justin Adame in the fifth, a liner to right that Ruben Pinedo reached out and grabbed while running to his right. If that ball had gotten past Pinedo, Curtis Ashton would have scored easily from second base to tie the game, and Adame would have probably reached third base as the go-ahead run.
Alvarez admitted he thought the ball would go for a hit when it left the bat. But Pinedo, playing shallow, got a great break on the ball and reached across his body to snare it.
“When I looked up and saw Ruben I his horse, I was so happy,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez’s big overhand curve ball was his most effective pitch of the day, and he used it to keep La Serna’s hitters from sitting exclusively on high fastballs.
“I didn’t have a lot of my (good) stuff,” he said, “but it’s a good thing I had that.”

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