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The East Bay Athletic League is one of the premier leagues in the state for baseball, and two of the premier teams year in and year out played to open the season on Wednesday afternoon. The Granada Matadors pitching staff shined on this day, as Arizona commit Josh Morano and Ty Clappin had the Wolves guessing all day long, helping Granada (1-0) coast to a 6-1 victory over San Ramon Valley (0-1).
Both teams coasted through the first inning of the ballgame. The two starting pitchers – Michael Bonderas (San Ramon Valley) and Morano (Granada) – both performed well. Michael Banderas did run into trouble in the second inning, however, as Dylan Baxter had an RBI double and Ben Wigginton had an RBI single on back to back at-bats.
One of the highlights of this game was the stellar defense, as diving plays were made all over the field. Solves shortstop Nick Mladnich had an amazing play, diving towards the outfield to save a run. Xavier Lortie dove to stop a ball at first for Granada. Also, for Granada, Dylan Baxter saved a run with a diving catch late in the game.
Morano would be the star of the game, though. The aforementioned Arizona bound pitcher pitched like he was already in the Pac-12. He threw 3 ⅓ innings without allowing a hit and dominated. A couple walks on the day was his only blemish, but he looked to be in midseason form already.
Morano said he and Granada are ready for a big season.
“I want to win league for our team,” Morano said.
The Matadors’ big first win didn’t end there. A couple of walks put the Wolves in a bad spot, and Delta College commit Logan Mock made them pay. A double into the right center gap brought the score to 3-0. Morano then walked in a run to make it 4-0, and a wild pitch made the score 5-0. The Matadors would bring in one more run in the top half of the seventh inning, as Baxter singled to right. The Granada offense hit the ball well all day, and a couple of early season mistakes on the basepaths kept a couple of runs off the board.
San Ramon Valley’s offense did not get a hit until the sixth inning, as Clappin pitched very well in relief. The offense did wake up just a little bit in the seventh inning, though, as Noah Garcia doubled, followed by a shot off the wall by Nate Cereghino. That would be the one and only run for the Wolves this afternoon.
The Matadors and Wolves will face off again on Friday afternoon.
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