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CARY, N.C.—After a thriller in its first game on Wednesday, a battle-tested Dana Hills High (Dana Hills, Calif.) squad overcame adversity again Thursday in 6-3 win over The Canterbury School (Fort Myers, Fla.).
“I was a little anxious to see how they were going to take pregame and how they were going to go about their business today,” Dana Hills coach Tom Faris said. “Yesterday was really a marathon for them, and I was wondering how they would recover.”
That question was answered early as first basemen Joe DeBaca laced an RBI single down the third base line to get the Dolphins on the board in the bottom of the first.
“He threw me a strike and I put it on the ground, just put in somewhere on the field,” DeBaca said. “Hit ground balls and magic will happen.”
But the magic was short-lived as Canterbury rallied for three runs in the second, putting Dana Hills in a two-run hole—which was a tough spot against Canterbury righthander Tyler Shuck.
A Florida Gulf Coast commit, Shuck spent the afternoon locating down in the zone and changing speeds well. Shuck possesses four pitches, and showed the ability to throw them all for strikes.
His fastball topped out at 90 mph, while pitching at 86-88 mph for much of the afternoon. He also showcased a cutter in the 84-86 mph range, and a changeup with inside run at 80-82 mph. His most effective pitch was his slider, with a sharp 11-5 break at 77-79 mph.
Shuck struck out eight in 5.1 innings, but gave up six runs, although only one was earned.
In the fourth, Dana Hills was able to capitalize on errors. The big blow was again delivered by DeBaca, as he sat back on a sharp slider to take it back up the middle for an RBI single to put the score at 5-3.
This was more than enough for Dana Hills starter Jack Sterner. Sterner settled in after Canterbury’s three-run second to toss 6.1 innings of three-run ball.
“The second inning was a little scary . . . but sometimes a pitcher (has to) work through some stuff,” Faris said. “And I felt pretty confident Jack could do it.”