CdM's Larsen earns another shutout
IRVINE - Corona del Mar junior Evan Larsen looked like he was headed for his second no-hitter of the season Friday afternoon.
Larsen didn’t notch the no-hitter, but he was dominant on the mound, allowing just two hits and striking out eight to lead the Sea Kings to a 1-0 victory over Irvine in the Pacific Coast League opener for both teams at Irvine.
“Evan is special,” said CdM coach John Emme. “This is his third shutout and he had a no-hitter his first time out (March 5 against San Juan Hills).”
Corona del Mar pushed across the only run of the game in the third inning. With one out, Kevin McCarthy singled and stole second base. He came around to score on a base hit by freshman JT Schwartz.
“JT has been doing it all year; he’s the guy you want (at the plate) with guys on base,” Emme said.
Meanwhile, Larsen (3-1) was rolling along. He had a perfect game going into the top of the fifth inning. But with one out in the fifth, Andrew Xiao singled to right field.
Xiao was able to reach second on a passed ball, but he was thrown out at third when Nathan Arellano hit a grounder back to the mound.
Larsen, who did not have a walk, then retired Dakota Potter for the final out. CdM did not have an error.
Greg McKinney had the other hit for Irvine (4-4, 0-1), a single with two outs in the seventh inning. But Larsen struck out the final Irvine batter to seal the victory for CdM (5-3, 1-0).
“I was just throwing strikes and let my defense do the work behind me,” Larsen said. “I threw a lot of two-seamers today and started mixing in some sliders and curve balls which were my strike and strikeout pitches.”
McKinney, the Irvine starter, also pitched well, allowing five hits and striking out four in seven innings.
But it was Larsen who stole the show in a game that lasted just one hour and 13 minutes.
“You got to tip your cap to him, he was really good today,” Irvine coach Ryan Brucker said of Larsen. “We have to have more competitive at bats against a guy like that.”
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