A little more than a week after the top position players squared off, two of the top lefthanders in the country went head to head. San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic High and Madison High matched up yesterday in a game that attracted more than 50 scouts.
“Both those kids were pretty pumped to pitch against one another,” said one scout in attendance. “There was a gazillion scouts there and pretty good set of fans, so it was pretty good . . . They’re two of the best high school lefties in the country, so it was good to see them on the same field in good weather.”
The Dons—currently ranked No. 1 in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25—won 4-1, improving to 7-1. Stephen Gonsalves pitched six innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out six. Ian
Clarkin exited in the fifth because of a pitch count and finished with a line of 4 1/3 innings, four runs on eight hits, and seven strikeouts. Gonsalves sat 88-90 mph while Clarkin was 90-93, according to John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“They both showed things they hadn’t shown before and overall, I thought they both threw well,” the scout said. “Clarkin’s changeup was better and I didn’t know Gonsalves was as athletic as he was. He’s a pretty athletic kid.”
Clarkin’s curveball is a weapon—one of the best breaking balls in the country.
“That’s the separator between the two,” the scout said. “One’s got a larger, projectable body, the other one’s got a breaking ball now.”
Also top hitters on their teams, Gonsalves went 2-for-4 with a double and Clarkin went 1-for-3. Their hits came off of each other.
This was Cathedral Catholic’s last game before heading east for the National High School Invitational. Their lone loss came against Granite Hills High (El Cajon, Calif.). That, coupled with The Woodlands (Texas) High’s hot streak, might make them slip out of the top spot, but their pitching depth makes them a strong favorite to win the NHSI, where they could potentially match up with The Woodlands.
The Dons’ runs were the first earned run given up by Clarkin this season, who was making his third start. He now has 33 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. Gonsalves has now tossed 16 innings in three starts with 17 strikeouts and six walks.