St. Vincent forged into sole possession of first place in the North Central League II baseball race with a convincing 10-3 win over visiting Rincon Valley Christian on Tuesday afternoon.
Rincon came into the key contest with an impressive overall 13-2 record and tied with Mustangs for first place, but the Eagles were no match for hard-throwing sophomore Liam Galten, who breezed through the first six innings without giving up an earned run. Galten had Rincon hitters off balance by moving his fastball around the bottom of the strike zone and most of the Eagle batters were unable to catch up with the heater.
After Rincon Valley scored two runs in the top of the second inning on an infield throwing error, the Mustangs rebounded in the bottom of the frame with six runs to take control of the game.
St. Vincent sprayed four line drive singles to all parts of the park and got key RBI blows from leadoff hitter Max Cowell and reliable Dominic Pederson. Leadoff hitter Joe Purtell got the rally started with a ringing triple to center field.
The Mustangs chipped away with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and two more in the bottom of the sixth. A second RBI off the bat of Pederson and three Eagle errors helped to keep the St. Vincent rallies alive.
Rincon Valley began the game with a 20-player roster which includes eight freshmen players. Most of the hard hit balls directed at the young Eagle infield were converted to outs.
"We are very young, but getting there," noted Eagle coach Shane Peterson. "It has been a slow process."
Galten didn't use a variety of pitches other than a very effective fastball which produced 10 ground ball outs, including four softly hit balls back to the mound. The promising sophomore struck three hitters before giving way to Brandon Evans who closed out the Senior Day contest.
"We have been getting some very good pitching," said pleased Mustang coach Gary Galloway, "Liam did a good job against Tomales in his last game, and they could not get a ball in the air against him."
Galten also had a very good day at the plate with three hits off Rincon starter Adam Gockel.