Marco Lopez has pitched in Petco Park with each child’s dream of enjoying within the massive leagues dancing in his head.
He threw a no-hitter earlier this season, putting out 16 Kearny hitters.
However the Hoover Excessive senior left-hander stated he by no means felt the way in which he did Monday earlier than dealing with Central League foe Lincoln in a recreation for first place atop the league.
“I had an upset stomach,” Lopez stated. “My head hurt. I was nervous. I guess it was because it was an important game. I guess it’s good to have some nerves, though. That means you care about the outcome.”
Lopez put the butterflies apart, calmed his nerves and struck out a document 21 batters in a seven-inning, 4-2 Hoover win, a victory that leaves the Cardinals and Hornets tied for first place within the league.
The groups play at Hoover at the moment and at Lincoln on Friday.
After that, Hoover has three league video games remaining vs. winless Crawford whereas Lincoln performs a really aggressive Excessive Tech San Diego 3 times.
Lopez is simply the third participant within the historical past of the CIF San Diego Part to strike out each batter in a seven-inning recreation.
The San Diego Part document is 23 strikeouts by Reggie Anton of Chula Vista in a 1977 recreation towards Coronado. That recreation, nevertheless, took 11 innings. And there was no pitch depend.
The Hoover college document was 18 strikeouts in a seven-inning recreation by left-hander Wayne Steele, who went on to play at San Diego State.
The Main League Baseball document is 21 strikeouts, set by Tom Cheney of the Washington Senators in a 16-inning win over the Baltimore Orioles.
There have been 5 20-strikeout video games within the massive leagues.
“I didn’t clue into what was happening until the fourth inning,” stated Lopez, who had an ideal recreation by means of the primary 16 hitters. “I walked a guy in the sixth, and thought it was over. But I was able to get out of the inning.”
Checking in at 5-foot-8, 155 kilos, Lopez is much from intimidating.
However his fastball sits at a decent mid-80s and touches 86 mph.
“My fastball has a lot of run,” stated Lopez, who throws each a two-seam and four-seam fastball to associate with a circle change-up, a 12-to-6 curve and a splitter that’s nonetheless a piece in progress.
“Tuesday, the fastball was working so well, there wasn’t much reason to speed up their bats and throw anything different.
“I was hitting spots, dotting the outside corner.”
Lopez, who allowed two runs to Lincoln within the backside of the seventh, used simply 98 pitches Tuesday with simply two three-ball counts. He has three innings left if the Cardinals want him Friday.
“The sky is the limit for Marco,” stated Hoover coach Bobby Schuman. “He can play at the next level and beyond. He has improved on and off the field. He’s a leader. He keeps the guys going. He has a high baseball IQ. He sets the tempo for our team.”
Lopez, who plans to play at San Diego Metropolis Faculty subsequent season, is 2-2 with a 2.02 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 272/3 innings.
Throw out a poor opening-game efficiency towards Level Loma, and the lefty is 2-1 with an 0.76 ERA. In his final 242/3 innings, he has allowed simply 5 hits, walked eight and fanned 54.
And he’s not only a one-trick pony.
When he’s not pitching, Lopez performs middle area and is hitting .241 with 10 RBIs.
In Little League, he stated, he was a left-handed catcher.
Plus, he performs the accordion and guitar in a band to select up some spending cash.
“I’m way better on the guitar, but my group needs me on the accordion,” he stated.
As a baseball participant, Lopez would moderately play middle area, however realizes his three-quarter arm slot and grips that give his pitches motion are the important thing to his future.
“I’m a baseball player, been playing since I was 3 … no soccer, basketball … just baseball,” he stated.
“I like watching Marcus Stroman (who stands 5-7 and was an All-Star with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019). He’s a smaller guy, but he’s smart. He knows how to pitch.”
Lopez transferred to Hoover from Level Loma initially of this college yr and needed to sit out the primary 40 days of the season.
“Longest 40 days of my life,” stated Lopez, explaining that he transferred when the time schedule at Level Loma wiped out his experience from the Hoover space the place he lives along with his household.
“I played in Sunshine Little League and went to Clark Elementary, so really I was coming home. I know the guys on the team, played with them. So it was a smooth transition.”
With Hoover at 7-16 and Lincoln at 8-13, Schuman stated neither figures to make the Division V playoffs with out profitable the Central League title.
The Cardinals have simply two league titles since 1986.
“That’s why winning that first game was so important,” Schuman stated. “It gave us a great lift, a spectacular lift.
“Now we’ll see what happens.”