Menlo-Atherton completed a sweep of its league-opening series with Hillsdale on Friday afternoon in San Mateo, defeating the Knights 12-3 behind the five-hit pitching of senior Patrick Moriarty and a persistent offense that generated nine hits from eight different players. The victory improved the Bears’ overall record to 5-4 and PAL Bay Division mark to a perfect 2-0. Hillsdale fell to 3-6 and 0-2.
Moriarty allowed just one earned run over 6 innings, striking out two and benefiting from two key double plays over his 106-pitch effort. Junior Kyle Zirbes pitched a scoreless inning of relief to wrap up the victory for M-A.
After Hillsdale tied the game 2-2 in the second inning, M-A retook the lead in the top of third when junior Chace Warren was hit by pitch, took second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Ryan Chilcoat, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI groundout by first baseman Nils Gilbertson. The Bears never trailed after that, scoring two more runs in the sixth and seven in the seventh inning to break the game open. Hillsdale starting pitcher Eddie Pagano was effective over five innings, yielding just four runs (three earned), but suffered the loss.
Zirbes (two hits and a walk) and senior Jeff Keller (double and three RBIs) led M-A’s attack, which also included doubles from Austin Hume and Isaac Block. The Bears took full advantage of nine walks and two hit batsmen to bury the Knights.
Menlo-Atherton heads to Rancho Cordova next week for the Cordova Easter Tournament. The Bears’ opening game is Monday afternoon against Whitney High School (Rocklin, CA).