PIZZA BARN GAME OF THE WEEK: McCreery Makes Life Dreary for Northwood

May 25, 2011
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McCreery was in full post-season stride, pitching a two-hitter to go along with seven strikeouts against Northwood Irvine on Tuesday.

McCreery was in full post-season stride, pitching a two-hitter to go along with seven strikeouts against Northwood Irvine on Tuesday.

Given his recent indiscretions, Arnold “the Governator” might not be baaaack, but Adam McCreery certainly is. McCreery, who was on the shelf for a large part of the 2011 baseball season, terminated Northwood 5-1 using his Major League fastball and sharp slider to register a two-hit, seven strikeout performance against the Timberwolves, propelling the Bearcats to the third round of CIF SS Section 3 playoffs on Friday.

Bonita got all the scoring it would need in the first inning. After Justin Rowe led off with a walk, Matt Gelalich fisted a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Rowe scored on a ground-out to short by Robert Mier. Gelalich would score on an RBI single by Justin Garza. Mark Lindsay, who had been by a pitch after Mier’s ground-out, was cut down at the plate to end the inning trying to advance on Garza’s single.

In the third, the Bearcats chipped away for another run, relying on the wheels of the senior Gelalich, who stole second and third before trotting home on a sacrifice fly by Mier.

In the fifth, the running game of Bonita once again paid dividends. After one-out, back-to-back walks were issued to Gelalich and Mier, the pair took off attempting a double steal. Northwood catcher Danny Mallek tried to cut down Gelalich at third, but when his attempt sailed into left field, both Gelalich and Mier scored to give Bonita a commanding 5-0 lead.

It was “commanding” because McCreery was back! “It felt really good,” McCreery said, “to be back in a CIF game. I pitched three of them last year. I love the environment. In the first inning, I was pretty amped. I was pretty jacked up.”

In the first inning, McCreery’s fastball seemed to leave little vapor trails. “I’m pretty sure that’s the hardest I’ve ever thrown,” said McCreeery, who is headed to Arizona State next fall unless a team in Major League baseball makes him and his family an offer they can’t refuse.

McCreery ran into a small speed bump in the bottom of the seventh, trying to close out the Timberwolves. They used a hit batter, walk and an error by McCreery to score their only run before the big left-hander whiffed Ben Libben to end the game.

Bonita coach John Knott had Brandon Murfett and Daniel Tessone loose in the bullpen just in case.

“Adam did a great job,” Knott said. “By far, his best outing of the year. It reminded us of last year. He’s a division 1 pitcher. He showed everybody out here that that’s the case.”

In the seventh, Knott made a trip to the mound after McCreery hit Northwood’s Alex King. He liked the matchups, however, with a couple of left-handers coming up, and McCreery’s past history of going the distance. “He wanted the ball,” Knott said flatly.

On the afternoon, Bonita had more stolen bases, 8, than hits, 7, showing the Bearcats can win a lot of different ways. “To me, this was more of a program win,” Knott said. “We ran a lot. Nobody went off (offensively) and had a spectacular game. We just kind of did what we had to do.

“It’s tough to go to somebody’s house and beat them.”

It’s easier, however, when you have Gelalich terrorizing opposing defenses. Twice he nursed walks and made Northwood pay dearly. Once on the bases, the senior speedster saw nothing but green lights. “Like all good teams, we’re going to find a way to win,” Gelalich said. “It worked out for us.”

Now Gelalich and his teammates will get to showcase their talents in front of a home crowd on Friday.

“We definitely feel like we’ve got the advantage playing at home,” Gelalich said. “We play good at home. We’ll have the crowd behind us.”

And we’ll be there!

After the game, grab a pizza at the Pizza Barn. Let ’em know, LaVerneOnline sent you!

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