EL CAJON — Christian High pitcher Sam Gershow spent most of last baseball season in the background as a mop-up reliever.
Different story this year. The 6-foot-5 senior right-hander is becoming the ace of the Patriots staff.
In Tuesday’s Division 3A pool play of the 64th annual Lions Tournament, Gershow blanked visiting Mount Miguel 2-0. He allowed only four hits, walked one and struck out six in a complete game.
“The biggest difference is last year he struggled with his control,” said coach Mike Mitchell, whose Patriots (11-4) have won two straight tournament games heading into today’s matchup at Mar Vista. “That hasn’t been the case this year. He’s not overpowering, but he consistently throws three pitches for strikes.”
Gershow only had two three-ball counts against the Matadors (8-7). One came against the game’s final batter as Kenny Stewart fouled off five pitches before taking a third strike.
“On the first pitch I was throwing either my slider or breaking ball to most guys instead of a fastball,” said Gershow, who raised his record to 5-1. “A couple of guys kind of took short swings at it, but basically they were just waving at it.”
Mount Miguel’s hard-luck loser was Daniel Ronk, who limited the Patriots to seven hits in going the distance. He retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced. Ronk also accounted for half of the Matadors’ four hits.
The Patriots scored two runs in the second inning on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Christian Meza.