Indians grooming another Mustang

Following the footsteps of Brian Mundell, Kevin Morgan homers in blowout win for North County

nwilson@thetribunenews.comJune 29, 2013 

Last summer, Cal Poly slugger Brian Mundell played on the North County Indians before joining the Mustangs and went on to lead the Mustangs with 11 home runs.

This summer, outfielder Kevin Morgan, another Cal Poly signee, is hoping to pick up some of Mundell’s hitting mojo.

The lefty from Corona High launched one over the right-field wall Friday to help the Indians win 12-3 over the San Mateo Rounders at Vineyard Athletic Park in Templeton.

Morgan, the Indians’ designated hitter Friday, sparked his team with the two-run blast, which landed in the brush beyond the fence, to a five-run second inning.

Though not a power hitter per se, Morgan has some pop and strives to drive the ball to the gaps.

Morgan, a 5-foot-10 lefty, is coming off of a senior season at Corona in which he batted .361 with 14 doubles, a home run and 23 RBI.

As a member of the Indians, Morgan came into the game hitting .318 on a team that stars several local high school products, including Templeton graduate Michael Frigon, Arroyo Grande’s Kyle Brown and San Luis Obispo’s Sinjin Todd.

Morgan’s homer was his second of the season with the Indians.

“I think this experience on the Indians will be a great transition for me to college ball,” Morgan said. “The pitching is definitely a step up from high school ball. You face a lot of junior college guys and some Division I pitchers. I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year at Cal Poly, but hopefully I’ll be a role player.”

Playing on a familiar home field, Frigon has picked up where he left off from his high school season, entering the game with a .380 average for the Indians.

Frigon will play for the Westmont College program this year. Frigon walked twice in Friday’s game, stole a base, and scored a run, but was held hitless, going 0 for 3.

As he made routine in center field at Templeton, Frigon also made a nice gliding catch on a gapper that easily could have gone for an extra-base hit.

Another Cal Poly incoming freshman, Alec Smith, entered Friday’s game leading the team with a .419 average.

Smith went 2 for 5 with an RBI single in the five-run second that gave the Indians a lead they never relinquished.

The Indians benefited from some wild pitching in the early innings from the Rounders.

North County batters walked 10 times in the first three innings, and one was hit by a pitch as the Indians took a 10-1 lead after three.

“Early in the game we were patient at the plate, and that allowed our base runners to really get going and steal some bases,” Indians coach Dan Marple said. “And it allowed our pitchers to really attack the strike zone. We also had five great defensive plays, I thought, in the game. (Cuesta College player) Mac Stuart had a nice diving catch in left field, and Alec Smith at short played really well today.”

In the five-run second, San Luis Obispo High grad Davey Casciola walked home a run and later slapped a single to the left side for a hit. He went 1 for 3 with two walks, a RBI and a run scored.

Brett Clark started the contest and threw six innings, striking out four, allowing just two hits. He allowed three runs, all of them unearned. Clark improved to 4-0 for the Indians.

“On a hot day like today, you really just want to stay hydrated and make sure you’re not sweating it all out,” Clark said. “My goal is to have location over velocity. I get more movement on my pitches by putting pressure on my index finger and certain grips.”

Clark was relieved by Cal Poly club baseball team member Nick Rosen, who threw two scoreless innings.

Atascadero grad Bryan Kirkpatrick came on in the ninth to close the game with a scoreless inning, striking out one and allowing a hit. Kirkpatrick entered with a 2.25 ERA in four games.

San Luis Obispo Blues 9, Bakersfield Sound 6

Daniel Garner went 2 for 3 with four RBI to lead the Blues (23-7) past the visiting Sound at SLO Stadium.

Michael Pritchard and Jimmy Allen had two hits and scored two runs each for San Luis Obispo, which plated three runs in both the first and eighth innings.

Blues reliever Drake Owenby was the winning pitcher. He tossed three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and no walks with six strikeouts.

— Tribune staff contributed to this report

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