East High Scarlets Baseball: All Gas, No Brakes
The slogan on the backs of the t-shirts being sported by fans of the #7 ranked East High baseball team reads as follows: All Gas, No Brakes.
They’re not kidding.
Yesterday the juggernaut rolled to its second doubleheader sweep in two days. This time the opponents were the visiting Hoover Huskies and they succumbed by scores of 12-2 and 11-1 as the Scarlets ran their season record to a gaudy 22-2, including a win over top-ranked Ankeny.
It was baseball weather and then some, and there’s little shade to be found at East. The Huskies weren’t able to find any from the heat thrown at them by Scarlet ace Colby Carmichael in the opener who fanned 13 in six innings of work en route to racking up the 21st win of his varsity pitching career, a school record. Carmichael’s only a junior so he’s got plenty of starts remaining to pad that total, and he also has plenty of company at that class rank on the young roster. Only one senior, catcher Dillon Hernandez, was in the starting lineup for game one. And it was a sophomore slugger who delivered the knockout blows that decided the game.
Chino (the Bambino) Alcala launched two prodigious home runs, the second of which in the bottom of the 6th widened the East lead from eight to 10, thereby ending the game early and denying Hoover its last chance at an improbable rally. In the big leagues, game-ending homers are called walk-offs, and they usually break a tie or bring the home team from behind for a dramatic victory. This was no tie-breaker and there was little drama about it, but his earlier one certainly drew some oohs and ahhs from the sunbaked crowd. It’s only 255 feet down the line to the short porch in right field at East. And yesterday the wind was boosting anything hit in that direction. Even so – Alacala’s moonshot that broke the game open in the bottom of the 4th rocketed over the fence still climbing. It soared over the back of the grandstand at Williams Stadium next door. At some point it must have returned to earth, probably somewhere on the gridiron. And since it was a three-run blast, maybe it should go into the books as a field goal as well as a round tripper.
Besides Alcala’s offense, another soph anchored East’s play in the field. Conner Enochs sparkled defensively at shortstop besides hitting in the middle of East’s crooked number frames, the four-run 2nd and five-run 4th.
In the nightcap Alcala went deep a third time to get the homer hat trick on the day and run his RBI total for the afternoon to a gluttony 13. Not bad, but there was talk in the stands of another recent power display that offers some real insight into just how loaded the Scarlets’ lineup is from top to bottom. Last week, the team’s leadoff hitter, Malique Ziegler, stroked three homers against Lincoln – in the same game!
It’s beginning to look like the only thing that will be able to stop this team is the end of the season, which they hope won’t come until after the state tournament that runs from July 26-August 3 downtown at Principal Park – where the pros play.