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By Steve Breazeale
In preparation for Friday’s game against Sea View League rival Aliso Niguel and their ace Kyle Molnar, the Dana Hills baseball team turned to something they call “Mr. Nasty”.
“Mr. Nasty” is a three-wheel pitching machine that hurls balls upwards of 95 mph and can be programmed to throw changeups and curveballs, all of which the Dolphins were expecting to see out of Molnar, the standout junior UCLA commit.
The Dolphins players don’t like “Mr. Nasty”, but all the time spent facing it paid off, as the Dana Hills bats came alive early and carried them to an 8-4 victory.
After Aliso Niguel (4-3, 0-1 league) scored in the first inning on a Blake Sabol sacrifice fly, Dana Hills responded. In the top of the second, the Dolphins batted around the order, plating five runs in the process. Three Dolphins recorded infield singles and Jay Schuyler lined a two-out, two RBI single to make it 5-1.
The Dolphins (6-2, 1-0) loaded the bases in the top of the fourth and scored when Molnar threw a wild pitch with shortstop Kayman Koen at the plate. That was the last pitch Molnar would throw in the outing. The Dolphins tacked on two more runs following a Koen fielder’s choice and a Louis Raymond sacrifice fly.
Molnar would give up seven earned runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings and exit with his team trailing 8-1.
“You’ve got five days to prepare for the kid and you still don’t think that’s enough, because he’s that good,” Dana Hills head coach Tom Faris said of Molnar. “We put up this machine called Mr. Nasty and that’s what Kyle is, he’s nasty on the mound … But I don’t think he had his A-game stuff today. We obviously took advantage of that.”
Dolphins senior pitcher Louis Raymond gave up a two-run home run to Anthony Sommer in the bottom of the fourth, but settled down and relied on the Dolphins defense to make outs and record the complete game. Junior third baseman Zach Wolf, who went 3-4 with an RBI, made several flashy defensive plays at his position that helped keep Raymond’s pitch count down and the Wolverines off the base paths.
Momentum is on the Dolphins side now, as they are winners of their last four. They were set to play a double header against Valencia on March 22, before returning to league play with a home game against Laguna Hills on March 26.