High School Roundup: Pender stars in triumph

Pitcher's complete-game shutout leads Newport Harbor to 3-0 victory over Chino Hills Tuesday.

April 10, 2012

NEWPORT BEACH — Blake Pender has pitched well all season for the Newport Harbor High baseball team.

On Tuesday, the sophomore earned his first victory of the season.

Pender threw the team's first complete-game shutout of the season, lifting the host Sailors to a 3-0 victory against Chino Hills in a pool-play game of the Beach Pit Classic.

Chino Hills, Newport Harbor and Northwood each finished 2-1 in pool play, but Chino Hills wound up winning the pool because it allowed fewer runs.


The Sailors (5-12) play host to Pasadena La Salle (11-6-1) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Chino Hills plays Laguna Hills, which won its pool, at Newport Harbor at 10:30 a.m.

Pender (1-4) struck out four and allowed five hits, all singles, and one walk.

"Any time he needed a strike, he reached back and got it," Newport Harbor Coach Patrick Murphy said of Pender, who went into the game with a 2.40 earned-run average. "He hit the outside corner of the plate and got a lot of groundball outs."

The easy outs allowed Newport Harbor to win its second straight game in the tournament after dropping the opener.

The Sailors have won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Pender got out of trouble in the top of the seventh against Chino Hills (10-7). With runners on the corners and no outs, catcher Tk McWhertor helped him out by throwing out a runner trying to steal second base.

Pender did the rest, recording a strikeout and getting the next batter to fly out.

The Sailors scored their first run in the third inning after Tyler Taormina and McWhertor got on base after getting hit by pitches. Taormina came around to score on an error.

In the fifth inning, freshman Ryan McCully led off and reached base on an error. McWhertor drove in a run on a groundout and Shaun Vetrovec doubled in a run.

Jordan Desguin, who went two for three with a double, is six for 11 with two doubles during the tournament. Desguin, a leadoff hitter, is bound for Florida State.

"They're pretty good offensively and their team ERA is tough," Patrick said of La Salle, which went 2-1 in pool play, its only setback was to Beckman, which went undefeated and won its pool. "Hopefully we can carry some momentum into tomorrow after our last two wins."

Beckman plays Fountain Valley, which won its pool by going 3-0, on Wednesday at 2 p.m at Estancia.

Other scores from Tuesday's games: San Juan Hills 6, Reno 2; La Salle 2, Greeley 1; Beckman 24, Costa Mesa 0; Northwood 10, Calabasas 3; Laguna Hills 11, Foothill 3.



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