His team led by four runs in the top of the seventh on Saturday, but Arbor View baseball coach Jay Guest felt far from comfortable.
Holding leads hasn’t been his team’s strong suit lately.
But Sam Pastrone allowed Guest to relax when he got Logan Etherington to fly out to center with two runners on to end the game, giving the Aggies a 6-2 win over visiting Faith Lutheran and snapping a four-game losing streak.
“I was pacing,” Guest said of the seventh inning.
Arbor View led Cimarron-Memorial 7-0 on Friday before allowing three runs in the fifth and seven in the sixth in a 10-8 loss. The Aggies led Rancho 5-3 on Monday but gave up three runs in the seventh to fall 6-5.
“This whole week we’ve been kind of snakebit,” Guest said. “The majority of our losses have come late in the game. We’ve been keeping our pitchers at a pitch count, and then we bring a guy in late and have some mistakes and we haven’t been able to recover from it. Today, Sam Pastrone pitched a great game and was able to go a (complete game).”
Pastrone allowed six hits, struck out five and walked three. He threw 105 pitches, 70 for strikes.
“He’s been good all year,” Guest said. “The last time he pitched really good against Liberty. And he’s the same guy. He throws strikes and gets ahead in the count. That’s what I’d have all pitchers do.”
The Aggies took advantage of four Faith Lutheran errors to score five unearned runs in the middle innings.
Back-to-back errors in the third led to two runs, allowing Arbor View to take a 2-1 lead. The Aggies added three unearned runs in the fourth, as Pastrone helped himself with an RBI single.
Crusaders starter Erich Uelmen, who has signed with Cal Poly, managed to make it through just four innings despite not allowing an earned run. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out five. He threw 83 pitches.
“The Uelmen kid is really, really good,” Guest said. “We talked about having good (at-bats) against him, and I thought we did a pretty good job of getting his pitch count up.”
Arbor View rallied despite losing one of its big hitters, right fielder Gabe Gonzalez, after two innings. Faith Lutheran’s Justin Daraban gunned down Gonzalez at the plate to end the second, and Gonzalez was ejected for running over Faith Lutheran catcher Greg Sylvester.
But reserve Justin Rivera was 1-for-1 with a run replacing Gonzalez.
“It was awesome. We bring Justin Rivera in, and he has a knock for us and makes a good play in the outfield,” Guest said. “That’s what we talk about. When we have someone go down, we have someone to back them up. That was kind of the problem all week. When we were up on guys, we didn’t back it up. Today we kept them in control.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow him on Twitter: @DamonSeiters.