May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Segerstrom pitcher strikes out 13 in Golden West League win over Garden Grove

Segerstrom pitcher Bruno Banuelos was solid on the mound again Tuesday. (Photos: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).

Segerstrom High School pitcher Bruno Banuelos continued to dominate Tuesday afternoon, pitching six scoreless and hitless innings to lead the Jaguars to a 14-0 Golden West League baseball victory over Garden Grove at Segerstrom.

Segerstrom (6-9, 3-0) came within one out of registering a combined no-hitter.

Banuelos struck out 13 and and in the last two outings spanning 11 innings, he’s struck out 25. Last week the senior struck out 12 in five innings in the Jaguars 15-1 win over Godinez.

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Segerstrom Coach Erasmo Ramirez decided to remove Banuelos after six innings of no-hit ball with the Jaguars leading by 14 runs and his pitch count around 70. One Garden Grove batter reached on an error.

Reliever Cristian Galaviz came on in the seventh to complete the shutout but Garden Grove’s Isidro Gonzalez broke up the no-hitter with a single past second base with two outs. Gonzalez was thrown out trying to steal to end the game.

“It was a good outing, back to back outings have been good,” Banuelos said. “We knew what kind of team Garden Grove was going to be, so attacking the zone was the plan and we did it right.”

Banuelos, who struck out the side twice, said he understood Ramirez’s decision.

“It’s his decision so we all respect it,” he said. “I saw his point of view, his perspective and as soon as we started scoring more runs there was no need for me to go back out there.”

Ramirez said it’s important to get other players in too and he’s looking at the long-range outlook for his pitching staff for the rest of the season.

“We try to get all of our guys into the game because they all put in the work from the first day when school starts in the fall, it’s only fair to try and get these guys in the game as often as I can and I have to keep some guys sharp on the mound too,” he said. “Cristian Galaviz, who finished off the game, is a kid who is going to come out of the bullpen for us and it was a good opportunity for him to get an inning there.

“Bruno was at 72 pitches after six innings and he was dominating. There’s a lot to be said about letting him go back out there and get his shutout, but no one is going to look back at March 22 and see that Bruno Banuelos dominated a game. We want him to dominate the last week of the season or into the CIF playoffs. It’s not just the pitch count, it’s getting up and down, it’s still taxing on a kid’s arm and I’m not about to put a kid in any type of jeapardy just so he can get a shutout or no-hitter on March 22.

“My guys understand that and if they don’t, they’re going to have to understand it because we need to take care of our guys.”

Segerstrom, which had 11 hits, took command early off Garden Grove. The Argonauts (8-7, 0-1) were playing their first league game.

“We preach patience and their guy had a hard time getting the ball over the strike zone those first few innings and I think we took a few walks and a couple hit by pitches and that’s what you’re going to have to do when we face guys who are struggling like that,” Ramirez said. “If they do throw the ball over the plate, the expectation is that we’re ready to hit and we’re ready to get the barrel on the baseball and a few guys did that.”

Segerstrom took advantage of two hit batters and two walks to score two runs in the first inning off starting pitcher Khoi Anderson. Reggie Demetre drove in one run on a sacrifice fly.

In the second inning, Segerstrom scored three more runs. Bryan Cortez had an RBI single and Banuelos and Demetre drove in runs on groundouts. Demetre also had an RBI double in the fourth inning to put Segerstrom ahead 6-0.

The Jaguars added another run in the fifth inning. Derek Higaredo singled, stole second and eventually came home when Zander Bretza reached on an error.

Segerstrom, using mostly pinch-hitters, added seven more runs in the bottom of the sixth, capped by a two-run double by Banuelos.

Bretza, the Jaguars leadoff hitter and Kenny Cabada each scored two runs.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com