Stockdale knew it needed a win Friday to have a chance at a Southwest Yosemite League baseball title, so head coach Dan Lemon and assistant Greg Showers did what any coaches would do.
Well, not exactly.
They handed the ball to a pitcher who hadn't started a game all season. And all Jamey Carroll did was toss a complete-game in a 13-0 demolition of Bakersfield that clinched a share of a second straight SWYL title for the Mustangs.
Stockdale (18-10, 10-5 SWYL) won its final five games to catch Centennial, which it beat two out of three meetings. The winning streak started the game after the Mustangs blew a 6-0 seventh-inning lead at Liberty.
"We had our backs against the wall," Showers said. "After we gave that game away to Liberty, we told them they had to win out, and they did it. They grinded it out and really got some momentum going."
Carroll has been used solely as a reliever, but he had been so effective lately that Lemon, who said he likely will retire from coaching after the season, and Showers gave him a start. He threw only 64 pitches in seven innings, allowing two hits and no walks and striking out three.
"We just thought we'd see how far he go with it, and he went all the way," Showers said.
Meanwhile, Stockdale's bats pounded USC commit Mason Perryman, taking a 1-0 lead on Josh Stone's leadoff home run and then pouring on nine runs in the second inning. Stone, Carroll, Zach Tanner, Drew Allen and Nick Parke all had two hits for Stockdale. Showers said he thinks the Mustangs deserve a No. 4 seed in Division I when Central Section playoff brackets come out today.
"Dan and I are ecstatic with the way they've been playing," Showers said.