Stellar defense grants Sharks four more wins

Senior pitcher Andre Simoneau throws a pitch during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Senior pitcher Andre Simoneau throws a pitch during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Senior left-handed pitcher Andre Simonaeu threw a shutout game for the Malibu High School baseball team, leading them to a 2-0 victory over the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8. 

Simoneau threw all seven innings for the Sharks, showing all of his best stuff and recording out after out. 

“I was able to spot fastballs on the outside corner, which is what I was mainly going with,” Simoneau said. “And then the changeups kept them from knowing exactly what was coming. So just that juxtaposition of pitches.” 

Malibu has prevailed in four of its last six games. The victory puts the team at 11-12 overall this season, according to MaxPreps. 

Shortstop Dylan Ross said the team’s play has improved because it’s gotten back to basics. 

“We have just started playing more fundamental on defense,” Ross said. “Our pitchers have definitely walked less hitters. We’ve definitely beared down on fundamentals.”

Hunter McMillin slides to home base during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Hunter McMillin slides to home base during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Friday’s game saw a lot of good pitching from Simoneau and terrific fielding when any Bishop Diego player managed to make contact with a pitch. The Sharks finally showed some of the “routine defense” coach Ari Jacobs has been clamoring for all season. 

“You play routine defense, you got a chance,” Jacobs said. “You don’t play routine defense, you give teams four of five outs in an inning, they’re going to score a lot of runs.” 

One example of Malibu’s stellar defense was in the top of the third inning when Bishop Diego hit a shot past the Malibu first baseman. Ross slid to the floor, made the catch, gathered himself and threw a bouncer to first, which earned the Sharks a third out.

The Sharks got going offensively in the second inning with a base hit from Hunter McMillin. Then catcher Rocky Morris spliced a double down the third-base line, advancing McMillin to third. 

A sacrifice fly drove in McMillin, who slid and extended his hand for a score. 

In the bottom of the third, Ezra Allen used another sacrifice fly to drive in Dylan Ross, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish. 

Malibu’s last two regular-season games are against the Carpinteria Warriors, the last being on Friday, May 15 at home. The Sharks and the Warriors have identical records in the Tri-Valley league at 4-6. 

Ross said the Sharks have to play good baseball in order the beat the Warriors. 

“They’re a very fundamental team,” Ross said. “Usually it’s a low-scoring game whenever we play them, so we really have to kind of bear down and throw strikes.” 

Ezra Allen prepares to swing at a pitch during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Ezra Allen prepares to swing at a pitch during the game against the Bishop Diego Cardinals on Friday, May 8, 2015 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

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