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Villa Park baseball shuts out El Dorado in Crestview League opener

VILLA PARK – On some days it was the hitting, on others it was the pitching that was winning baseball games for Villa Park.

On Friday, everything went right for Villa Park in a 7-0 win over El Dorado at Villa Park High.

The timing for an all-around performance was excellent. It was the Crestview League opener for both teams.

Villa Park, No. 7 in the county top 25, improved to 10-1 overall.

No. 9 El Dorado (10-5) entered the game with an eight-game winning streak in which the Golden Hawks had allowed only seven runs.

AJ Krodel pitched a complete game for the Spartans. The lanky, 6-foot-3 senior right-hander, who is committed to UC Santa Barbara, scattered three hits. He struck out seven, allowed no walks and hit one batter with a first-inning fastball that got away from him.

“Early on I did not have a great feel for my fastball,” Krodel said. “That kind of came with later innings. I had good feel for my off-speed which is always great to win a game.”

Villa Park’s Brandon Beeson hit two singles and drove in a run. Zach Brown scored a run and hit doubles — on the first pitch he saw on his first at-bat and the first pitch he saw on his second at-bat.

The Spartans scored twice in the second inning and padded the lead considerably with a five-run fifth inning. They also played errorless defense as they won their seventh game in a row since losing to Lakewood.

Villa Park coach Burt Call, in his fourth season as the team’s coach after many years at Mater Dei, said Friday was the first time that pitching, hitting and defense shined equally for his team.

“I think this is our first game where we put them all together,” Call said. “Some other games we’d have good offense or we’d have good pitching. Today was our first complete game.”

Brown led off the Villa Park second inning with a double to left-center field. Beeson followed with a line-drive single to right field and advanced to second base on a throw to third base that failed to get Brown. Brown scored on Mason Miles’ infield single, and Beeson scored on Garrett Doughty’s deep fly to right-center field that was misplayed for a 2-0 lead.

Villa Park batted around in its five-run fifth. Gavin Grahovac reached on an error that was forced by his speed, Jack Burke reached on an infield single and both scored on Geoff McArthur’s bunt that resulted in a three-base error. McArthur scored on Beeson’s single to left for a 5-0 lead, Andrew Grove’s double sent home Beeson and Grove scored the seventh and final run on a passed ball.

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