Ravens blank Mavericks in extra innings

Canyon Crest players celebrate after taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth inning vs. LCC.
(Bill Wechter/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Canyon Crest tops La Costa Canyon in pitchers’ duel


Sam Garewal was every bit as good as advertised: strong, clean and dominating.

Problem was La Costa Canyon’s Carson Tanner matched the Canyon Crest Academy left-hander pitch-for-pitch for seven innings with just one hit for each side.

Finally, in the ninth inning with the game in the bullpens’ hands, Canyon Crest was able to push across a run and beat No. 5-ranked LCC 1-0 on Thursday, March 24.

“Sam has been so dominant my bullpen wasn’t getting much work,” said CCA coach Ryan Mikkonen. “It took extra innings today, but the bullpen got a chance.”

Garewal, whose fastball sits at 88-91 mph, worked the first seven innings for the Ravens.

He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out 12, giving him 56 strikeouts in 27 innings this season. He struck out the first five LCC batters and 11 of the first 14. The first LCC hit was James Theodore’s single in the seventh inning.

Garewal has yet to yield a run in four starts.

Tanner was nearly as dominant, allowing one hit, walking one with six strikeouts over seven innings. CCA’s first hit was Ethan Swindler’s single in the sixth.

In the CCA ninth, though, Zach Danon led off with a double and Marco Lombardi walked.

After a fielder’s choice and a pop out, Oliver Charat-Collins, hitting eighth in the CCA order, dropped a single into left field to score Danon.

“This is my first year on the varsity, but, no, I’ve never had a bigger hit,” Charat-Collins said. “My job in that spot is to get on base, stay within myself, but try and get something to the outfield. I’m a good high-ball hitter, and I got a ball up where I could handle it.”

Now, it was up to Neil Elias to close the door.

The senior right-hander, who had allowed a single in the eighth, got the first two outs in the ninth on infield pops, but then walked Gabe Camacho.

With two out, Elias got the final out of the game on a fly to left.

“I was definitely ready to get out on the mound,” Elias said. “Sam has been so good for us, but the bullpen guys have to be ready to go. I just tried to throw strikes, keep it simple, and help us get a win.”

Canyon Crest is now 7-1 with wins over Classical Academy, Mira Mesa and Clairemont.

The Ravens have also beaten No. 6 Torrey Pines (2-0), Point Loma (1-0), Vista (1-0) and now LCC, which is 7-2.

“You have to tip your hat to those guys,” LCC coach Justin Machado said of CCA. “Their starter was tough, and the guy they brought in was good. Our guy matched ’em, but we couldn’t get anything going. It was a well-played game on both sides, a game with great intensity.

“Our league (the Coastal North County with Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo, Poway and Carlsbad) is really tough. This is the kind of game we’re going to get in league, games with this kind of intensity. So we need to learn and grow from this.”