Bonita Proves Tuttle Tough in 3-0 Win over Diamond Ranch

March 25, 2010
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Bonita's Brian Tuttle slinged a 3-0 shutout over Diamond Ranch

Bonita's Brian Tuttle slinged a 3-0 shutout over Diamond Ranch

Bonita moved to 3-0 in the Miramonte League behind Brian Tuttle’s five-hit 3-0 shutout over the Diamond Ranch Panthers at the Bearcats’ home field on Thursday.

Tuttle allowed only one Panther to reach third base while racking up six strike outs. From the first pitch to the last, the senior hurler was in command.

“He was a one-man show out there,” said Bonita coach John Knott. “You just have to be impressed with his poise. He doesn’t get rattled. He throws multiple pitches and strikes at any time.

Nothing was more indicative of Tuttle’s toughness than what you saw in the sixth inning. They send up a guy who is hitting .600 with three home runs, Bridgewater. He executes a 3-1 change that he fouls off and then he comes back with a fastball in, that just catches enough of the inside corner to get him to hit into a double play. That inning could have been huge for Diamond Ranch right there.”

In the seventh, Tuttle gave up a lead-off double to Derek Goodwin and then picked him off.

Despite pitching a brilliant game, Tuttle was almost subdued about his performance.

“It’s business as usual,” Tuttle said. “You just have to go out there and execute pitches. That’s what we work on every day in practice.”

Catching had some good looks on the day, walking twice and flying to center.

Catching had some good looks on the day, walking twice and flying to center.

Although it looked as if the shutout would be erased after he yielded the lead-off double, Tuttle didn’t appear flustered or concerned in the least.

“I was just trying to stay in a tunnel with Mark (Lindsay) behind the plate, and focusing on the glove,” said Tuttle, who throws a fastball, cutter, curve and change.

For the last two years, Tuttle was more of a spot starter, pitching behind twin aces Nico Calderaro and Jason Plowman. Now he’s emerging as the staff’s new ace.

“I waited a couple of years to be out there and pitching like this. I want to carry on Bonita’s great pitching tradition. We’ve been pitching well here.”

Meanwhile, Bonita did just enough offensively to stay undefeated in league. With one out in the bottom of the first, Tuttle walked, Evan Highley legged out a single and Lindsay walked to load the bases before Anthony Ramos lofted a fly ball to score Tuttle.

In the third, Bonita manufactured another run.  After southpaw starter Kevin Lengyel issued a lead-off walk to Mier, Mier moved up to second on a passed ball, then over to third on a fly to right by Tuttle. Highley then hit a sac fly to score Mier.

In the fifth, Bonita taking the maximum from the minimum. Leading off, Gelalich laced a doubled into the left-center gap. Mier singled Gelalich to third. Although Mier was picked off first, he managed to stay in the pickle long enough for Gelalich to bolt home for the Bearcats third and final third run.

Bonita managed only three hits, but the team and Tuttle’s poise and composure made it stand up.

Nolan Henley inserted into the game as a defensive substitution in the fifth made the coach look like a genius after leaving his feet to rob leadoff hitter Nathan Schlatter of extra bases. Had the ball not been snared, the entire tenor of the inning and game could have changed.

While Knott was unhappy about a couple of his team’s errors, he was pleased overall with workman-like way Bonita played.

“I thought there was a lot of contact, a lot of tempo, a lot of rhythm,” Knott said, sounding like a judge on “Dancing with the Stars.” “I thought the guys handled their few failures well. They came back and got the double play when we needed it.”

Bonita owns the league lead at 3-0, and should be rising in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune rankings, but Knott, like Tuttle, is playing the season a pitch at a time.

“The goal is to try to get better every day, and not worry about standings or rankings or anything like that because really at this point in the year, they don’t mean anything,” Knott said on his way to address his team. “It’s our third league game; we still have nine to go.”

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