Eric Amundson tossed six shutout innings and Matt McGarry went 3-for-4 with three RBI -- including a two-run homer -- as Menlo-Atherton defeated host Half Moon Bay 8-0, in PAL Bay Division baseball action Monday afternoon.
The victory improved the Bears' overall record to 12-5 and, more important, gave them a share of first place in the division. M-A, Terra Nova, and Menlo all have 4-2 league records, with Carlmont and Sacred Heart Prep a game behind at 3-3. Half Moon Bay is now 2-5 and Burlingame is 1-4.
Amundson struck out nine Half Moon Bay batters, walked one, and allowed just two hits -- neither of which left the infield. The senior right-hander retired 14 consecutive Cougars before walking Half Moon Bay's lead-off hitter in the sixth inning. With the victory, Amundson improved his season record to 5-2 and lowered is ERA to 1.67. He now has 50 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings pitched, and has walked just nine batters all season.
McGarry, meanwhile, enjoyed his best day of the season at the plate. He staked the Bears to 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a towering homer to left field, singled sharply in the third inning, and drove in the Bears' final run with a single in the seventh.
M-A accumulated 13 hits in the contest, with seven different players contributing. In addition to McGarry, Charlie Cain was 2-for-4 (including a triple) with two RBI, improving his batting average to .304. Amundson (.377 season batting average) helped his own cause, going 2-for-4 with two triples and a run scored. Brian Coggins was 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run. DH Daniel Kollar-Gasiewski was 2-for-3, scored a run, and boosted his batting average to .311. Brett Moriarty (.404) was 1-for-3 with an RBI (his 14th), a walk, and scored a run. And, shortstop Jordan Long (.289) had a single and scored a run.
Half Moon Bay managed just one threat against Amundson all afternoon. In the bottom of the first inning, an M-A error and two infield hits (one that struck an umpire) loaded the bases with one out. Amundson struck out the next two hitters to escape the inning, then didn't allow another base runner until the top of the sixth.
Senior Colin Martell relieved Amundson in the bottom of the seventh and also had to survive a bases-loaded jam to preserve the shutout. After allowing a lead-off infield single, he struck out the next two batters. The next two batters reached on an infield single and a hit-by-pitch before Martell retired the final batter on a groundout.
M-A grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second on McGarry's two-run homer and an RBI single by Cain. The Bears added two more runs in the third on RBI singles by Moriarty and Coggins. M-A's lead grew to 7-0 in the sixth on Cain's RBI triple and a passed ball. McGarry's run-scoring single in the top of the seventh provided the final eight-run margin.
At the San Diego Lions Tournament, Menlo School (10-6) opened the four-day event with a 9-8 loss to host Escondido. The Knights let a seven-run lead slip away over the last three innings and then could not take the lead in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. Sam Crowder had three hits for Menlo while Carson Gampell drove in four runs.
Gunn maintained its hold on second place and set up a showdown for the SCVAL De Anza Division title with a 190-202 victory over visiting Mountain View at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course on Monday.
Zach Tevanian earned medalist honors with a 2-over 36 while helping the Titans improve to 10-1. Anson Cheng and Karan Thapar each shot 38 with Jack Jaffee and Shai Mohan adding 39s. Adam Fleischman's 40 wasn't counted in the scoring.
Next up for Gunn will be a rematch with rival Palo Alto (10-0), which has a match next Monday before facing Gunn on Tuesday.
Sacred Heart Prep stepped out of its comfort zone and took on perennial NorCal power St. Ignatius on Monday, with the host Wildcats posting an 18-13 nonleague victory.
After trailing at halftime, the Gators (9-4) made a strong comeback and tied the match before SI once again pulled away. Sophomores Ally Mayle and Libby Muir each scored four goals for SHP with junior Brigid White adding three. Seniors Caroline Cummings and Jane Meehan each scored once while goalie Natalie Palmer came up with eight saves.
In Santa Barbara, Menlo School began its spring break with a 21-7 victory over Thatcher School in Ojai. The Knights improved to 9-4 as freshman Sophia Donovan scored six goals and added an assist with sophomore Parvathi Narayan added five goals. Sophomore Kira Sze contributed four goals plus one assist, sophomore Nikky Price had three goals and four assists while senior Christina Schwab finished with three goals.