Josh Famolaro's bat was so hot Monday night that he didn't even realize what he was doing on the mound until the final inning.
The Desert Edge southpaw went 2 for 4 with five RBI, but also threw a no-hitter to help the Scorpions clobber Phoenix Sierra Linda, 19-0, in a game that was halted after 4 1/2 innings because of the mercy rule.
"It felt pretty good," said Famolaro, who had never thrown a no-hitter before. "I didn't know until the fifth inning, but I had a good defense backing me up."
Famolaro struck out 10 and walked four in an 82-pitch outing. His defense helped him from the beginning, as center fielder Ryan Schwarz made a two-out diving catch on a ball hit toward the gap in the first inning, saving a run.
"We were shifting over because he was kind of late, then he turned on one and I just hightailed it over there, last second made the decision to dive," Schwarz said.
Famolaro then helped himself immediately in the bottom of the first, lining a triple to center field to score a pair of runs. Famolaro had an RBI fielder's choice in the second inning and drove home two more with a single in the third, giving him five runs batted in.
"We were aggressive, waiting for the fastball in the zone, as soon as it was there, hit it," Famolaro said. "I've been in a slump lately so it felt pretty good."
After taking a 3-0 lead in the first, Desert Edge scored seven runs in the second and added eight more in the third to blow it wide open. The Scorpions had 16 hits and were aided on the base paths by nine Sierra Linda errors.
Ironically, Sierra Linda (1-5-1) had beaten Desert Edge (6-4) on Feb. 22 during the Universal Athletic Tournament, 5-0. It was the first game of the season for the Scorpions, who completely turned things around this time against the Bulldogs.
"We were bad," Desert Edge coach Sean McCorry said. "First game of the year, bad swings, and now it's been two weeks, the BP is a lot better. They're starting to take better rounds of BP, so we kind of felt it today. We were like, if they take BP rounds like that in the game, we're going to be all right. Now they've just got to keep doing that."
Famolaro entered the game batting just .160, McCorry said. He's the team's best hitter.
"We knew he was going to come around," McCorry said. "That's what we kept telling him, because he was pressing. With him, if he can catch fire, because the rest of the guys have been doing a pretty decent job ... They're good kids, they work hard."
Schwarz also had a triple, which cleared the bases in the second inning. He finished with two hits, three runs and three RBI. Devyn Fowler also had two hits and scored twice.
Josh Cruz and Peter Acosta led the Scorpions' hit attack with three apiece. Cruz's day included a double, while both of them drove in two and scored twice.
"We jumped on the fastball early in the count, didn't get behind in the count, and just swung," catcher Sawyer Lung said. "When we swing, good things happen."
Calling the game
Lung had the best seat in the house for Famolaro's masterpiece on the mound. He said it was the best he's seen Famolaro pitch by far.
"He was dead on," Lung said. "If I wanted it inside, it was inside, if I wanted it outside. He was hitting spots."
It was Famolaro's fourth appearance of the year, and he lowered his ERA to 2.33.
"He's been doing great," McCorry said. "Coach Marcos [Garcia] has worked wonders with him, because he didn't pitch last year. Coach Garcia said, 'Hey, I think he's going to be one of our best guys.' He's been talking to him about how to pitch. That's what was great, he called maybe five pitches. Sawyer called almost the whole game. They're getting their understanding on how to pitch ... I was extremely proud of the way he competed and attacked the zone."
Desert Edge returned to the field Wednesday and lost to Estrella Foothills, 5-1. Next week, the Scorpions open play in the Coach Bob Invitational Tournament, where they'll play seven games over a week-and-a-half span. In addition, the Scorpions have two power-points games in between.
"We'll bring up a lot of JV and freshman arms, let them pitch," McCorry said. "It'll be a good chance to move guys around and get a lot of swings."
The victory over Sierra Linda moved Desert Edge to 4-1 in power-points games.
"To start off the season 4-1, you're not making up games at the end of the season, trying to catch up," Lung said. "That's such a big thing for this team, especially the second half of the season having tougher games. To get the job done early in the season, that's a big momentum boost."
Casey Pritchard can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.