Baseball: Dawson Netz Takes Over Reigns in Third Inning, Gets 10th Win; Maranatha Cruises By Arlington, 11-2, in CIF Division 3 Quarterfinal

Published : Saturday, May 26, 2018 | 5:06 AM

Will Downing got through the first two innings in Friday’s CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinal allowing just one run, despite multiple runners in each inning.

When Downing allowed the first two batters to reach base in the third inning and with a 1-1- tie, Maranatha coach Matt Shupper walked out to the mound and signaled for his ace.

Dawson Netz, who had six innings left of eligibility for the week, warmed up.

And as others have done before them, and to their peril, many in the Arlington dugout were popping off Netz’ way.

So, how did the star junior, who set a new CIF record this season with 59 consecutive scoreless innings handle the pressure of entering the playoff game with runners on first and second and no outs?

He immediately picked off the runner on second base and then got two more outs, and in all honesty, the Lions never really challenged again.

That was because Maranatha scored five runs in the bottom of that (third) inning and with Netz on the mound, it was lights out.

The Minutemen punched their ticket to the semifinals with their 11-2 victory at Brookside Park in a rather long game.

At one point in the third inning, Arlington had three different pitchers face three consecutive MHS batters.

Netz went four innings, allowing four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out four to improve his personal record this season to 10-0.

Not that anybody is counting, but he now has a new nine-inning scoreless streak to ride into his next appearance.

When talking about the Maranatha offense, the first two names that come to mind are obviously their studs, Max Blessinger and Marco Martinez.

The top four batters in the Minutemen lineup (Blessinger, Nick Iverson, Martinez, Brock Vradenburg) however, went a combined 1 for 13 on Friday.

Sal Tabullo, hitting from the No. 5 spot in the order, had a huge game, going 3 for 4, and he scorched the ball each time.

Tabullo scored three times and drove in one run.

Casey Popham was credited with three hits, including a double.

The sophomore scored twice and drove in one run.

Dante Campione had a double to the wall and three RBIs. He also walked once and scored a run.

Christian Villegas, Noah Wittman, Zachary Overturf, Austin Williams and Alex Garcia had two hits apiece for Arlington.

Villegas doubled and tripled for the Lions and Joseph Abrams hit a blast off Popham in the seventh inning.

Blessinger did have a late-inning RBI base hit and both Niko Khoury and Charles Acker came off the bench and added to the 11-hit MHS attack.

Iverson walked once and scored a run for MHS and Martinez walked twice and he scored once for the Minutemen.

One guy that continues to impress, especially for those of us not around every day is Ethan Firestone.

The Maranatha catcher weighs all of about 160 (after a huge meal) at 6-foot-1 or so, and his play behind the plate has been incredible.

In this game alone, he made a nice catch on a foul ball, blocked a number of pitches in the dirt and picked a runner off second to help thwart an early Arlington rally.

Firestone also went 1 for 1, walked, was hit by pitch and scored twice.

Vradenburg went 0 for 4, but he too found a way to contribute with an RBI.

Zachary Overturf got the loss for Arlington.

The senior surrendered four runs over 2 2/3 innings on four hits and walked three batters.

Three Lions’ pitchers (Tyler Hodgson, James Taylor, Brenden Gruender) combined to get just one total out on Friday.

Noah Wittman sort of steadied the ship, but his defense didn’t help him much.

Wittman allowed five runs, but only two were earned over his three innings.

Downing’s numbers included two-plus innings, allowing one run on six hits.

Downing walked one and struck out one before Netz replaced him in the third inning.

Maranatha has now won 18 consecutive games, dating back to April 6.

MHS will make a 64-mile drive out to Redlands on Tuesday afternoon.

The Terriers (24-7) picked up a 6-0 victory at San Dimas in their quarterfinal game Friday.

The winner of the MHS-Redlands game will face off with the La Salle-Long Beach Wilson winner in the CIF Division 3 championship game.

Box Score:
Arlington: 0-1-0-0-0-0-1-(2)
Maranatha: 0-1-5-0-2-3-X-(11)

Win: Dawson Netz (10-0)
Loss: Zachary Overturf (5-4)

HR: Joseph Abrams (A)
3B: Christian Villegas (A)
2B: Christian Villegas (A), Alex Garcia (A), Dante Campione (M), Casey Popham (M), Sal Tabullo (M)

Records: Arlington (22-11); Maranatha (25-4)