Faith Lutheran senior pitcher Zack Trageton sent a text message to Arbor View’s Nick Quintana on Wednesday night, telling the All-America slugger not to hit a home run when the two faced off in the season opener.
Quintana didn’t oblige, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Trageton fired six strong innings, and the visiting Crusaders got the better of Arbor View for a 6-3 victory Thursday in the Bengal Varsity Tournament.
“I’ve been waiting for this matchup for a very, very long time,” Trageton said. “For me, it’s one of the best first games I could have had, really preparing me for the upcoming season facing this great offense, great bats. I’m pretty proud of my performance.”
Nearly 20 professional scouts were in attendance to see Trageton and Quintana, two of the area’s top players, and the highly anticipated battle proved to be a wash.
Quintana went 1-for-3 and smashed a hanging curveball over the left-field fence for a two-run homer in the fourth inning that cut Faith Lutheran’s lead to 6-2. He also struck out swinging in the first and flied out to deep center in the fifth.
Trageton, who has signed with Utah, allowed only four hits and struck out seven against Arbor View, which was ranked No. 50 in Perfect Game’s preseason national rankings.
“We knew we’d be pretty competitive. We’ve got our No. 1 out there,” Faith Lutheran coach David Anderson said. “Zack’s really good. He did a good job, and we did the things that we need to do. When we play our games, we have to play small ball, we have to scrap. That’s who we have to be.”
Joshua Harmonay went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, and Sagan Gronauer was 2-for-3 with a run for Faith Lutheran (1-0). Trageton and Brandon Davis each finished 2-for-4.
Blake Giuliani put the Crusaders ahead with a run-scoring single in the top of the first inning, and in the third, Trageton flipped a run-scoring single to right to score Davis. Three batters later, Jake Ortega added a sacrifice fly to put Faith Lutheran up 3-0.
Trevor Jackson cut Faith Lutheran’s lead to 6-3 with a run-scoring double in the fifth inning before Kyle Poser struck out the side in the seventh to get the save for the Crusaders.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ