Baseball: Clemente’s Jonathan Figueroa shakes off slow start in dominating fashion
Updated: March 27, 2012 7:29PM
Jonathan Figueroa shook off the rust of a long off-season and led Clemente to an 8-2 victory over Young in the Wildcats’ first game of the season.
The sophomore right-hander threw a complete-game, three-hitter while dominating over the last four innings.
‘‘I had to get my nerves out early,’’ Figueroa said. ‘‘I was real rusty but I settled down and started locating my fastball.’’
The game was tied at two going into the fourth inning when Clemente broke the affair open. The Wildcats got to Young starter Guillermo Perez when Tito Berdecia cranked a ground-rule double over the center-field fence, which Anthony Justiniano followed with a walk.
Perez was pulled in favor of Danny Villedes who was tagged for three hits and a walk that allowed the Wildcats (1-0) to get five runs across. Daniel Garcia drove in two runs with a single up the middle and went 2-for-3 while catching for Figueroa.
‘‘At the beginning of the game, he was a little cold,’’ Garcia said. ‘‘As he began to warm up, he located his fastball and used his curve as his out pitch.’’
Figueroa allowed only two base runners after the third inning. One of those got on board with an error and the other with a soft single to center field. For the game, Figueroa struck out 10 while allowing no walks and stranding three. His defense allowed two errors but also made some outstanding plays behind him.
‘‘I was a little surprised by our defense,’’ Clemente coach Nelson Perez said. ‘‘I didn’t think we would be as sharp as we were. Jonathan was a little work-horse out there. He was put in situations last year as a freshman that are paying off for him this year.’’
Yervie Arias drove in Clemente’s first run with a sharp double down the left-field line. Berdecia made his way on base with an error that saw Arias score and give Clemente a 2-1 first-inning lead.
Torrence Summerling had an RBI double in the first inning for Young (3-3), which drove in Villedes. Eugene Tabb scored the Dolphins’ second run on an RBI single by Tim Quintus. Tabb went 2-for-3 for the game.