As the San Luis Obispo High first baseman, Sean Maguire’s job is quite simple: When the ball is hit into the infield, he has to be in position to finish the out.
It can be a monotonous job, but an important one.
And Tuesday afternoon, he was on the receiving end of three separate double plays that highlighted the Tigers’ 4-0 win over Paso Robles at SLO Stadium in a meeting of the top two PAC 7 teams.
The other participants in those double plays were second baseman Marco Murillo and shortstop Garret Giovannelli. They turned two in the first, second and seventh innings to help stop the Bearcats (11-7, 7-3 PAC 7) from becoming a scoring threat in the first of a three-game series this week.
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San Luis Obispo (13-2, 10-0 PAC 7) had another defensive gem in the fourth inning, when left fielder Brian Coburn extended his body and glove for a diving catch near the foul line.
The defense played off Tigers pitcher Louie Carlos, who had a complete game with six strikeouts, gave up four hits and three walks.
“He did a good job of commanding his fastball today on the outside part of the plate,” San Luis Obispo coach Bobby Ryan said of Carlos. “He threw strikes outside all day long and induced them to have to hit the ball away.
“By the third inning, he started commanding the changeup and they started swinging through it. It got them off balance a little bit. He had good command the rest of the game.”
San Luis Obispo is three games ahead of the Bearcats in the league standings, and the two teams will meet again today at Paso Robles.
On Tuesday, the Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning after R.J. Hassey’s RBI-double sent in Davey Casciola for the first of his two runs before Hassey went on to score on a wild pitch.
San Luis Obispo had two more runs in the fourth, when Giovannelli stole home after a dropped ball at second. That was followed by Casciola’s run on a wild pitch, giving the Tigers a comfortable cushion.
“It’s always nice to be up early, because it gets rid of those jitters,” Casciola said. “You can’t be nervous when you’re up. It’s always nice to get out to a lead. It helps you get into the flow of a game.”
Though they also had four hits, the Bearcats had trouble creating scoring opportunities. Paso Robles had baserunners make it to second base only twice. As for the pitching, Eli Vargas threw a complete game with five strikeouts.
The Tigers hope to keep their momentum going today against Paso Robles, which has lost three of its past four games.
“Considering that we’re in first, it just makes us work that much harder,” Carlos said. “We want to make sure that we stay there. Every series, we’re going to go out hard. We’ll just keep working harder and harder as we play.”