A powerful performance from Wilcox senior Nick Malvini helped the Chargers finish off a two-game sweep of league rival Palo Alto on Friday. With the 8-5 victory, Wilcox now has the inside track at finishing third in the De Anza division behind only Los Altos and Los Gatos.
“We have third place in our sights,” said Wilcox Head Coach David Currie. “If we take care of business against Saratoga then we pretty much have third, which will help with the league playoffs and qualifying for CCS. Beating a quality team like Palo Alto, to be able to sweep them, put the hammer on them, that’s important.”
Malvini led the way against Palo Alto by not only pitching five-and-two-thirds quality innings but delivering at the plate as well. He delivered an opposite-field double and a two-RBI single at the plate. On the mound he only allowed one hit.
“I was really feeling good with my curveball today. I felt pretty good overall. Just need to be more consistent,” remarked Malvini on his pitching performance. “I definitely want to control my location more on all my pitches.”
Despite allowing a couple of walks, Malvini left the mound giving up just the one hit and allowing only two unearned runs.
“When he the throws that offspeed pitch, the batters turn in thinking it’s gonna hit them and then it curves in right down the middle,” praised Chargers’ senior Devin Baddo on his view of Malvini’s pitches from his spot in center field. “Whenever I see him pitch I know that he’s going to throw well.”
In addition to Malvini’s big day at the plate, it was Baddo and designated hitter Alex Tolbert who led the way offensively for the Chagers. Baddo stroked multiple solid singles into right field and used his speed to manufacture the tying run to make the score 1-1 in the the bottom of the third. Wilcox would go up 5-1 in that third inning. Tolbert came through with a couple of solid singles, including an insurance RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. The Vikings had pulled within 5-4 in the top half of the inning and the Chargers answered back with a critical three spot of their own to go up 8-4.
“We prepared a lot yesterday with off-speed pitches because we knew that’s what their pitcher was gonna bring,” said Tolbert on his approach. “I didn’t stick to that approach on my first at bat, so after that I was just trying to wait longer and hit line drives.”
“We obviously had to add on at the end there,” remarked Currie on the fact the insurance runs came in vital with Palo Alto scoring a fifth run in the seventh. “We fell apart there a little bit, if we don’t tack on those runs, we don’t get that extra hit from Tolbert, we probably lose that game. At least we’re still playing right now.”
The Chargers will play next on Thursday, April 18 against Gunn.