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Foothill League baseball: Proof positive

Barlow pitches Grizzlies past Canyon

Posted: May 5, 2010 10:15 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Golden Valley's Anthony San Miguel hits an RBI single in the sixth inning against Canyon on Wednesday at Golden Valley High School. The Grizzlies won the game by the score of 3-0.

 
Here’s a novel idea.

Pitching can win baseball games in the Foothill League.

It’s clear that this has been a hitter’s league this year, but a pitchers’ duel at Golden Valley High went in favor of the Grizzlies on Wednesday in a 3-0 victory over Canyon.

Scott Barlow did a high-wire act, retiring Canyon with runners in scoring position in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, earning his first high school shutout. He went the distance, allowing eight hits, hitting a batter, walking another and striking out six.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” he said. “The defense did a fantastic job.”

Both sides actually did a fantastic job.

Both Golden Valley (11-11, 6-6) and Canyon (6-16-1, 2-10) were the worst defensive teams in the Foothill League at the beginning of the season. Yet both teams have turned things around of late and played error-free baseball on Wednesday.

The difference on Wednesday was Barlow’s ability to get himself out of jams and some timely hitting by Golden Valley.

The timely hitting was in the first and sixth innings.

Freshman Billy Fredrick led off the Grizzly first inning with a double, then took third on a fly ball. He scored on Kamran Young’s single off Canyon pitcher Icezack Flemming to give Golden Valley a 1-0 lead.

The Grizzlies picked up two more runs in the sixth off an RBI double by Jon Granado and an RBI single by Anthony San Miguel.

Other than that, Flemming was outstanding.

In fact, the Canyon senior can make the argument that he’s been the Foothill League’s best pitcher over the last two weeks, having shut out Hart last Wednesday, breaking Canyon’s 24-game Foothill losing streak.

“This was just everyone realizing we need to play better,” Flemming said. “We didn’t want (to play poorly) again. This game was close. We just didn’t get any runs.”

Flemming struck out six and allowed six hits and two walks in six innings.

Canyon was close to scoring on a number of occasions, but failed in one particular area — bunting.

The Cowboys were doubled up on a squeeze attempt and also missed two other bunts.

The fifth inning might have been the key moment of the game.

With runners on second and third, Barlow faced Patrick Roxbury, who was 2-for-2 coming into the at-bat, having attacked two straight Barlow fastballs.

Prior to the third at-bat, Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin visited Barlow on the mound.

“We weren’t going to let that kid beat us in that situation,” Drootin said. “We weren’t going to give him too much to hit.”

Barlow gave him three straight cutters, which break more than the fastball.

Roxbury was out in front on the first two offerings, then grounded out on the third, ending the rally.

Barlow wasn’t out of the woods.

In the seventh, he walked his first batter of the game, then hit Harry Bennett.

The junior pitcher then struck out the next three batters, ending the game.

“He does it to me on purpose,” Drootin joked about Barlow. “He just wants to see me sweat.”

Golden Valley remains the hottest team in the Foothill League, having won six of its last eight league games.

But Canyon showed on Wednesday that it still has some pride.

The teams end their season series on Friday at Canyon.

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