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By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Baker's one-hitter gives Warriors first shutout win of 2021


Last updated 6/9/2021 at 9:49am

Mitchell Baker threw a one-hitter May 26 against Escondido, and the Warriors' 4-0 home victory was Fallbrook's first shutout win of the season.

The one-hitter was also the first career complete game for Baker, who is a junior. "He got ahead of everybody, threw strikes," said Fallbrook coach Patrick Walker. "Got ahead of hitters, got a lot of ground balls."

Baker threw 69 pitches. He walked three batters while striking out six Cougars.

The Warriors did not commit a fielding error in 31 total chances consisting of 21 putouts and 10 assists. "Defense played really well," Walker said.

Baker had two of those assists. He does not throw a slider but mixed his fastballs with curveballs and changeups.

The win was the fourth of the season for Fallbrook. The Warriors allowed two runs apiece in two of those victories and five runs in the other triumph.

"It was just a big win," Walker said of the shutout against Escondido. "We're a very young team."

Fallbrook's starters include two freshmen and four sophomores. "We just knew we were going to take our lumps this year, but we were looking for improvement and this is a big step," Walker said. "That was a great confidence builder for a team that has lost a lot of close games."

The 19 losses at the time Fallbrook shut out Escondido included four defeats by a one-run margin. One of those was an eight-inning game at Mount Carmel. The two teams were scoreless for the first seven innings before the Sundevils scored in the bottom of the eighth for a 1-0 victory.

"We were playing a team that's loaded with seniors and juniors," Walker said.

Baker pitched 6 2/3 innings in that game, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out four. He was hit as a batter, making him one of only three Fallbrook baserunners during that game. The Warriors' only hit was a single by sophomore Anthony Thomas, who also walked.

Fallbrook's May 26 runs consisted of one in the first, two in the third, and one in the fifth. Baker, Thomas, senior Alex Lopez, and sophomore Tanyon Smith scored a run apiece. Fallbrook's 10 hits included two singles and a double from Lopez, two doubles by Thomas, a single and a double from Smith, and a double by sophomore Peyton Vanyke. Both of Fallbrook's walks were drawn by freshman Jace Cervantes.

"Offensively we've kind of struggled, and that was some timely hitting," Walker said.

Walker credits that to the team's improvement. "They're learning to be very wise batters at the plate," he said.

"We have a solid group of young players who are getting stronger," Walker said. "This is a young team that has a lot of potential for the future."


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