The crowd at Stengel Field watched in awe as GCC pitcher Nick Woodward threw a complete game shutout, only surrendering three hits in a 2-0 win against COC on Saturday.
“I’ve had a couple bad outings lately, so I came out here today with the mindset that I could not be beat,” said Woodward after the game.
All the run support Woodward needed came in the third inning, when infielder Sean Spear drove in outfielder Chris Stroh on a line drive up the middle.
“Their pitcher probably had the best off-speed pitch we’ve seen all season. With a 3-1 count, I knew he was going to throw me a fastball. I got one waist high and just hit it right back at him,” said Spear.
Head coach Chris Cicuto was pleased with his team’s performance, and stressed doing the little things right.
“Woodward came out here today and dominated. He established his strike zone early and really trusted his pitches. Most pitchers would get shaken up after three errors, but Nick didn’t today,” said Cicuto.
Cicuto said that the turning point in the game came with their third batter.
“(Catcher) Erik Suarez’s first at bat really set the tone. Even though he got out, he saw about 10 pitches. To battle a pitcher like that and to see that many pitches, he really let the pitcher know we weren’t going to be overmatched,” Cicuto said.
Nothing should be taken away from COC’s pitcher, Cory Jones, who threw eight very strong innings, but he was just outmatched by Woodward.
“Woodward pitched a great game today. He pounded the zone and I don’t think he walked anyone,” said COC coach Chris Cota.
Woodward did hit two batters, but maintained his confidence and got the win.
“Woodward pitched a hell of a game,” said Spear. “I really tip my hat to him for this one.”
The Vaqueros added a second run in the sixth inning when Ellis Whitman hit a double that bounced off third baseman Robbie Mousselli’s glove. This run was set up by a single by Suarez, who advanced to third on two wild pitches.
The Cougars almost broke the shutout in the fifth inning. COC catcher Michael Browne reached base on an error, and was eventually thrown out trying to score by Scott Hong from right field.
GCC had some trouble in the field, where they committed three errors. That didn’t faze Woodward at all.
“Yeah they had a couple errors but this team picks each other up. If they have errors, we want to pitch better and hit better to make those errors meaningless,” Woodard said.
This win improves GCC’s overall record to 11-6, and 2-2 in WSC play. COC drops to 9-8 overall, and 1-3 in WSC.
The Vaqueros next home game is Thursday against LA Pierce College at 2 p.m.