Prep baseball: Lake Norman 8, Carson 0
By David Shaw
CHINA GROVE ó This was as good a time as any for Nick Lomascolo to remind everyone just how effective a pitcher he can be.
The Lake Norman lefty flattened everything in his path in an 8-0 win at Carson on Tuesday.
“He is a great pitcher,” Carson coach Chris Cauble shrugged after Lomascolo scattered three singles and struck out 12 in 61/3 innings. “I think Catawba’s getting a steal. He definitely had our number tonight. I think he got into our heads a little bit.”
Lomascolo used a crackling fastball clocked in the mid-to-upper 80s, a terrific curve and a tempting changeup to do what he does best ó stretch the strike zone.
“We may have made him look better than he really is,” Carson’s Tyler Freeze said afterward. “We were swinging out of our shoes, even with two strikes, trying to hit everything as hard as we could.”
Lomascolo worked the ball inside and out, up and down. Early in the game he lived on the corner of Low & Away, teasing the Cougars into chasing curveballs bathed in dirt. Later, he offered rising fastballs with late movement, a pitcher’s best friend.
“He was throwing the ball high,” said Carson infielder Julio Zubillaga. “But for some reason, we all wanted to swing at it. Plus he had good off-speed stuff. Mixed with that fastball, it made it tough to hit.”
Front-running Lake Norman (16-1, 13-0 NPC) collected 12 hits, half of them against losing pitcher Nich Glass. The senior southpaw worked out of a first-inning jam and nearly escaped the second when a 1-6-3 double play cleared the bases with two outs. But three consecutive singles and a pair of walks ended his evening after 12/3 innings. By the time reliever Will Misenheimer cleaned up the mess, the guests had a 5-0 lead.
“(Glass) threw the ball well the first two innings,” Cauble said after fourth-place Carson (12-6 overall) fell to 8-4 in the league. “We were just trying to get them to hit groundballs. He did that at first, but after that, I don’t know.
“Those guys are in first place for a reason. They came out and proved it to us tonight.”
Lomascolo treated it simply as another day at the office. He fanned two batters in each of the first four innings, then sandwiched three strikeouts around two walks in the Carson fifth. But he never retired more than four straight batters and was spelled after Patrick Bearden led off the last of the seventh with a groundout.
“I was just throwing strikes and feeling pretty confident,” he said. “I was mostly working on my ABCs, my mechanics, trying to make my pitching motion consistent.”
Zubillaga had Carson’s first hit, a bloop single in the first inning. Zack Grkman slashed a bad-hop grounder into right in the third and Joe Basinger served a two-out hit to center in the sixth. Other than that, there wasn’t much for the Carson faithful to cheer about.
“We can’t put our heads down because of this loss,” said Freeze, the last of Carson’s four pitchers. “We’ve still got a lot to play for.”
NOTES: The Cougars close the week with NPC games at West Rowan on Thursday and at Statesville on Friday. … Although Lomascolo has signed with Catawba, a rep from the MLB Scouting Bureau was on hand charting his pitches.
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