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West Hills soph tosser on target

04/16/2014, 8:49pm PDT
By John Maffei

In first start of season, Wolf Pack lefty shuts down Point Loma in Lions Tournament

LIONS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

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— Generously listed at 5-feet-8, 135 pounds, West Hills High sophomore left-hander Gabriel Shubert doesn’t try to be anything he’s not.

“I’d love to throw 95-100 mph,” Shubert said. “But when I look in the mirror, I’m 5-8 and don’t weigh a lot. So I have to be myself on the mound.”

In his first start of the baseball season, the real Gabriel Shubert was pretty darn good.

He had a one-hit shutout through six innings before running out of gas in the seventh, but he was good enough as the Wolf Pack beat Point Loma 6-1 in Division 4A of the 64th annual Lions Tournament.

The win puts West Hills (6-8) into today’s semifinals at Torrey Pines High against Mt. Carmel.

Shubert, who had thrown just two innings before Wednesday, went 6 1/3 innings, allowed two hits, struck out five and walked two against Point Loma (4-10). He didn’t issue a walk until the seventh.

Hard-throwing Hayden Schilling came in from shortstop to get the final two outs and preserve the win.

“My game is to mix my pitches, keep teams off balance,” Shubert said. “I’m not overpowering, so I try to set hitters up and spot my fastball.

“I’m a sophomore with some really good junior and senior pitchers ahead of me. So when I’m not pitching, I try to pick their brains and learn more about the game.”

Shubert needed just 66 pitches to earn the win.

And his effort didn’t deplete the bullpen for what could be two games — semis and finals — today.

“Gabe is an up-and-coming kid,” said West Hills coach Mike Harwell. “This was his first start, but the kid is legit.

“The guys on the team love him, and he knows the team supports him 100 percent.

“He’s a soft tosser, and the guys call him ‘Zito Junior’ (after former San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito).”

Shubert got six outs on grounders, three on infield pops and two on a line-drive double play. Center fielder Alec Scalco made a nice running catch to end the sixth.

“Give that left-hander a lot of credit,” said Point Loma coach Joe Radovich. “He has a nice breaking ball and hits his spots.

“We only had one hit through six innings. Lack of hitting, that has been our nemesis. We tried to pull too many balls, and it cost us.”

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