Nolan Binkele hurled a complete-game two hitter to lead the Paso Robles High School baseball team to a 5-0 home victory Wednesday over Cathedral in a first-round CIF-Southern Division 3 playoff game.
Binkele struck out only two batters, but his defense did the rest, turning two double plays. Binkele also picked off a runner to end an inning. One double play was turned by second baseman Kyosuki Yoshiware, who was battling the flu before the game.
“Right now, I know that my defense is going to make routine plays, and they’re going to make plays to pick me up,” Binkele said.
The Bearcats (20-11) gave Binkele all the help he needed, scoring one in the second inning, one in the third, two in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Paso Robles took advantage of Cathedral mistakes, adding a run after Matt Keller was hit by a pitch and two in the fourth after a throwing error led to Mark Armstrong scoring from first and Christian Erickson advancing to second. Erickson would later score on a Keller double.
Binkele helped his own cause in the sixth with an RBI single to score Erickson.
Cathedral’s hard-throwing starting pitcher Tyler Chavez lasted only three innings, giving up two runs on four hits. The Bearcats were more than ready for Chavez’s fastball that tops out around 90 mph.
“The first game of the season, we faced a guy from Salinas hitting 91,” Paso Robles head coach Derek Stroud said. “And in league, we have Sauer (Righetti) hitting 88, Jess (San Luis Obispo) 86, Benson (San Luis Obispo) 87 to 88, so we faced some guys that prepared us to face (Chavez) today.”
“I don’t think our guys were in awe,” Stroud added. “I think our guys had some good at-bats against him.”
Seth Matthysse was 2 for 2 with a triple, and Justin Davis added a double for Paso Robles.
The Bearcats will travel to face Palm Desert (16-10, 11-1 Desert Valley) on Friday.