Worth the wait
Carter's complete-game effort leads Sharks
Pitching depth is huge at the Alpine Junior College World Series, and a complete-game performance Monday morning by Kyle Carter during Miami Dade College’s 8-3 win over Spartanburg Methodist College (South Carolina) means the Sharks have extra pitching in spades.
Miami Dade coach Danny Price said there was no doubt he’d throw Carter in the Sharks’ first game at Suplizio Field.
The Sharks-Pioneers game was scheduled to be played Sunday night, but rain pushed the game to Monday morning.
“Any time you start a tournament, you gotta run your horse out there,” Price said. “But your horse has to go deep, and even Coach (Kevin) Long was talking about how we need (Carter) to go six (innings). But I knew in the back of my mind that if he got close, and we got him some runs, he’d smell it and take it all the way, because that’s how we compete.”
Carter struck out eight batters during the first nine-inning complete game of the tournament, surrendering five hits and two walks.
“I just went out there against every hitter and had it in my mind that this is just a normal game, like the first game we played and the last game we played,” Carter said. “The first couple innings my curveball wasn’t there, so I was just using my fastball/change-up combination until I finally found my curveball.”
The limited damage Spartanburg (46-17) inflicted offensively came primarily from the Pioneers’ first three batters.
Carter described Spartanburg center fielder Wesley Rogers, second baseman Matt White and right fielder Zach Shields as “tough outs.”
Rogers led the Pioneers with two hits, and White scored twice while Shields’ speed wreaked havoc on the base paths.
Price said the solution to stopping speedy teams is simple.
“Don’t let them get on base,” he said. “You have to go after those guys, and we knew we couldn’t give up any freebies. I think the one time we got behind was stuff we created on our own. One of their slower runners was on, and we rushed a throw.
“They had some speed on the bookends, two up front and two in the back. We knew that coming in and knew we had to come after those guys. No matter what they did, we made sure they earned it.”
Darren Seferina finished 2 for 3 with two runs, and Mario Amaral hit a solo home run.
Miami Dade (36-16) manufactured one run in the bottom of the first inning, one in the second and picked up another in the fifth. Bryan Colon hit a run-scoring double, and Jose Gomez picked up an RBI on a groundout. David Palenzuela plated two runs on a single in the eighth inning, and Gomez added another on a sacrifice fly.
Gomez led the Sharks with three RBI and said the entire team was more than ready to play after the rainout.
“We were anxious in the hotel,” Gomez said. “We couldn’t wait to get out of the hotel, so we came out here and did it.”
Price said he lost sleep because of the delayed start.
“It was a long night,” Price said. “I can’t tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about a loss. But we came out here and competed, and I’m proud of the way our guys played today.”