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Yarnall, Foothill dominate Villa Park
(Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove a quote attributed to Villa Park coach Chris Van Camp. The quote should have been attributed to Foothill coach Vince Brown. We apologize for the error.)
VILLA PARK – Entering this week, Foothill and Villa Park were tied atop the North Hills League standings. Two games and two dominant pitching performances later, the Knights have a two-game lead.
On Friday, left-hander Soren Yarnall tossed a shutout and struck out eight to lead Foothill to a 5-0 win at Villa Park High.
“Right now, he just seems so confident on the mound,” Foothill coach Vince Brown said. “He’s not afraid to throw his pitch in the zone and let us play defense. Today he threw fastballs elevated a little bit, which all the sudden gave him a whole different look and got him some strikeouts. That fastball helped him a lot today.”
Yarnall kept opposing hitters off balance by throwing a high volume of off-speed pitches the first time through the lineup, then mixing in fastballs from that point on. The senior gave up five hits and no walks and did not allow a hit to the last 11 batters for the Spartans (9-4, 4-2).
“I was just trying to hit my locations,” Yarnall said. “Whenever I can throw my change-up for a strike on a 2-0 count, it’s going to be a good day.”
Foothill (10-5, 6-0) got on the scoreboard in the first inning after Dylan Doherty and Dillon Brown each singled to start the game. They both scored on an error to give Yarnall a two-run lead before he even took the mound.
Villa Park starter Cole Wiens settled into a rhythm after the first inning and kept the Knights from scoring again until the sixth inning. After getting a strikeout to start the inning, Wiens allowed four consecutive hits, including a double by Matthew O’Donoghue, as Foothill took a 4-0 lead.
Villa Park had won seven of its last eight games before losing twice this week to Foothill. The Knights had struggled offensively against good pitching before scoring five runs in each of their wins over the Spartans.
“(Villa Park) has been playing extremely well and doing a lot of the little things,” Brown said.
“For us this week, it was about making sure we did those things right and pitch the way we’re capable of, play defense and be a little bit better at the plate.”