The Junior Varsity baseball teams for Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley took the field Tuesday as the Cougars defeated the Falcons 6-2. The victory puts the Cougars (7-1) in first place in league while the Falcons (6-2) remain in second place.
The Cougars were led by pitcher Robbie Carling, who threw 5 2/3 innings, recorded eight strikeouts and surrendered two walks while only giving up a pair of runs. Freshman Matt Robustelli came in for relief to close out the game for the Cougars.
Carling said that he doesn't consider himself to be a numbers guy.
"I don't worry about the stats," he said. "I'm just out here to play the game and do whatever I can to help our team."
Playing for Damian Moore has helped the Cougars team grow into title contenders this year according to Carling.
"(Moore) is good because he'll be honest," Carling said. "A lot of us on our team need that and I like it."
Logan Hudson took the mound for the Falcons but gave up four walks and four runs on three hits in three innings of work. This comes off a near-perfect performance from Hudson in his last outing, who was two outs away from recording a no-hitter.
Both teams are poised for success as the future bodes well for both programs.
"We're playing good ball and we're only going to get better," SLV coach Damian Moore said.
Sophomore Blake Snedeker went 2-for-2 for the Cougars with a double and an RBI single. Carling went 1-for-2 with an RBI triple.
The Cougars led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the second when sophomore Tanner Spence put the Falcons on the board with a 2-RBI triple, the only runs the Cougars would surrender the entire game. Spence finished 1-for-2 for the game.
For Falcons coach Tony Pagliaro, a message of unity is what he delivers to his team.
"We never single out a single player," Pagliaro said. "We talk about a team concept, a team approach where you play as one.
"When you do that, you're tough to beat."
Moore thinks the future is bright for the Cougars as well.
"We've got several players like Ian Blair and Matt Robustelli who are contributing at the varsity level," Moore said, noting Robustelli will pitch for the varsity team on Friday. "Guys are stepping up if they're asked to and it's been great."
Scotts Valley expects big contributions in the future from Spence and freshman Team Captain Ryan Gallegos, who is the team's catcher.
"He's been superb at the plate for us," Pagliaro said.
For Moore, his team has come together at the right time.
"This group of kids wants to work hard for each other," Moore said. "I don't have to get on them about that."