Doubleheader at Dos Palos double good for Los Banos

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 22, 2013 

DOS PALOS -- They call Corbin Lilledahl "Worm," but no worm ever ran like Corbin Lilledahl.

The nickname stuck when Lilledahl was a youngster playing travel ball, "because I've always been pretty skinny," he said. During Los Banos High's 10-1 and 16-0 doubleheader baseball sweep of Dos Palos, the junior center fielder drew plenty of shouts of, "Way to go, Worm," reaching base in seven of eight at-bats in the two games, with his only out a fly ball at the warning track.

"Corbin's on fire," Los Banos coach Mike Lemos said. "He's swinging a good bat. He's working on his mental approach now, and not getting too flustered after a bad at-bat. He's young, and he's still learning."

Lilledahl went 6-for-8 on the day and reached once on an error, with an inside-the-park home run, two triples, four RBI, five runs and two stolen bases.

Lilledahl broke open a 1-1 tie in the first game's third inning with his inside-the-park home run, launching a deep line drive over diving DP center fielder Noah Croninger. By the time anyone got to the ball, Worm was rounding second with his long sprinter strides.

"He just threw a fastball down the middle and I was just trying to hit it hard," Lilledahl said. "(Lemos) was waving his arm. Just, excitement. I was just thinking run hard, really just run hard, pick up the coach and just, give it all you got."

Lemos knew right away how the play would end.

"He's scoring. There's no doubt," Lemos said. "He and (Delvonte Moore) are probably the better speed guys that we have, and he's rounding second and the guy hasn't even gotten to it -- there's no holding him up, and I don't think he would have stopped if I did. That's how aggressive he is."

Lilledahl later smashed a triple during a five-run sixth inning for the Tigers.

"I knew I was messing up a little bit on my timing, but knew I had good timing," Lilledahl said. "I knew they were going to throw a lot of curveballs and you just have to stay back on them. As a team we did really good."

Lilledahl and friends went back to work in the second game with Amaral on the mound. Lilledahl went 4-for-4 with another triple and three runs scored, while sophomore Brevin Welch was 3-for-3 with a triple and three runs, and Cristian Garnica also smashed a triple. Garnica came up hacking and wheezing after sliding into third to barely beat a throw, prompting Lemos to joke, "I'm going to run you tomorrow, because you're out of shape."

With Saturday's wins in Dos Palos, LB matched its win total from last season, and the Tigers haven't even reached league play yet. The Tigers went 9-13 in 2012, and now sit at 10-1 following Wednesday's 19-1 rout of Davis from Modesto.

For the second Saturday in a row, Garnica and Chester Amaral both pitched complete games in doubleheader wins. The week before, they each went the distance in 5-3 and 7-1 wins over Sierra out of the Central Section.

"Scary thing is they're getting stronger," Lemos said. "We really worked on conditioning last week. Like I said before, it's really nice to know you have a 1 and a 1A that you can go to and they're going to make them put the ball in play, and if our defense is on, our defense is on. It's real easy for me to not have to worry about relief pitchers, especially when you hit the ball like we do, and let them finish."

Amaral, a junkball pitcher, sports a 0.00 ERA in 22 innings with a 4-0 record. His only unearned run came as the result of a single and a pair of errors in that Sierra win.

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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